Impact of psoriasis severity on family income and quality of life
Conflicts of interest
Psoriasis is a common disease and the costs of its therapy, medical care and loss of productivity are a major financial burden for patients and society. The financial status of psoriasis patients and its relationship with disease severity and quality of life (QoL) remains ill characterized.
The aim of this study was to assess the economic status of psoriasis patients and to investigate its correlation with disease severity and its impact on QoL.
A total of 83 (45 male) psoriasis patients, treated at a Polish specialty clinic, were assessed for their financial and employment status. QoL was measured with a generic (WHOQOL-BREF) and a skin disease-related QoL instrument (dermatology life quality index – DLQI). The effects of demographic and clinical variables, including disease severity measured by Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI), on the family income of patients were analyzed by multiple logistic regression. The mediating effect of family income between PASI and QoL was assessed by using the Baron and Kenny's procedure.
Patients' family income correlate negatively with psoriasis severity (Spearman's rho = −0.356; P < 0.01). Disease severity in patients with a family income below the social minimum was significantly higher (PASI: 20.5 ± 12.2) than in patients with a higher family income (PASI: 11.7 ± 7.7, P < 0.001). We found that education, disease severity and age predict 50% of the variability in family income (P < 0.001). Disease severity showed the second strongest impact on income after education (P < 0.01). Family income was found to link disease severity to global QoL impairment (P < 0.05).
Disease severity negatively affects the financial status of psoriasis patients, which in turn, is a mediator of global QoL impairment. Our findings are alarming and call for long-term solutions that equalize employment opportunities for patients with psoriasis.