Clinical Dialogue: Maximizing Treatment Benefits in Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis: How PAs Can Help Improve Outcomes
Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are chronic diseases that markedly undermine patients’ functional abilities and quality of life. Early diagnosis can reduce the impact of these diseases by facilitating the timely initiation of effective treatment. Unfortunately, both psoriasis and PsA are often underrecognized and undertreated. PAs, particularly those in primary care, can improve the identification of psoriasis and PsA by maintaining an index of suspicion when patients present with symptoms suggestive of these diseases. The biologic agents have redefined the management of psoriasis and PsA, and PAs can help patients derive maximal benefits from these agents. In particular, PAs can ensure that appropriate steps, such as required vaccinations, are undertaken to prepare patients for treatment. Through ongoing monitoring, PAs can also identify and manage adverse effects of therapy. Of additional importance is the potential for comorbidities, particularly cardiovascular risk factors, in this population. It is incumbent on PAs to be alert to these risks and implement appropriate management.
Educational ObjectivesAt the conclusion of this activity, the PA should be better able to:
- Recognize patients presenting with symptoms of psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis and refer to specialists as appropriate to confirm the diagnosis.
- Utilize knowledge of the determination of disease severity to support the diagnostic process.
- Monitor patients on biologic therapy for psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis and provide appropriate vaccinations.
- Identify comorbidities in patients with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis and facilitate management with comprehensive care.