Integrated dermatology–rheumatology clinic may improve PsA management
medwireNews: Collaboration between rheumatologists and dermatologists in a combined clinic may help improve outcomes for patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), study results suggest.
As reported in Clinical Rheumatology, 155 psoriasis patients with articular symptoms were assessed simultaneously by a dermatologist and a rheumatologist, 116 of whom were diagnosed with PsA and treated based on a joint strategy involving the two specialists.
Participants experienced significant improvements in skin and joint symptoms, as well as quality of life, after attending the combined clinic. For example, Psoriasis Area Severity Index scores improved from an average of 8.8 points at baseline to 0.95 points at 48 weeks, while the Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score and Dermatology Life Quality Index score improved from 2.6 to 1.7 points and from 10.5 to 1.0 points, respectively.
Similar improvements occurred regardless of whether patients were receiving conventional or biologic DMARDs, “suggesting that the improvement of the clinical outcomes may be achieved with an optimal management of PsA patients, regardless of the type of drug,” say Michele Luchetti (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy) and study co-authors.
The researchers note that their study was limited by the lack of a usual care control group, but believe their results show that “the implementation of a dermo-rheumatologic clinic is a feasible approach” to improve disease outcomes and quality of life for PsA patients.
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