Long-term improvement of psoriasis patients’ adherence to topical drugs: Testing a patient-supporting intervention delivered by healthcare professionals

Grantee: Mathias Tiedemann Svendsen, PhD, Specialist in dermato-venereology; Odense University Hospital, Denmark

Amount: DKK 2,200,000

Psoriasis affects 2-4% of the Western adult population and is a socio-economic burden for patients and society.

Topical drugs are recommended as first-line treatment for mild to moderate psoriasis, but low adherence is a barrier for treatment success.

There is a need for improved patient support for psoriasis patients, which is suggested to improve long-term use of topical drugs.

The project aims to test whether a patient-supporting intervention delivered by healthcare professionals can improve the use of topical drugs.

The intervention design is based on experiences with previous adherence-improving studies consisting of digital support by conducting a systematic literature search and holding focus groups with patients as well as healthcare professionals. The intervention consists of shared decision-making with patients, nurses and doctors, frequent consultations, easy access to healthcare professionals through video or in-office consultations and holding patients accountable for taking the medication.

The intervention will be tested in a randomized controlled trial: during a 1-year period, a group of patients (18-75 years of age) diagnosed with mild-to-moderate psoriasis and treated with topical drugs will be randomized to an intervention (n=65) or non-intervention group (n=65).

The primary outcome will be primary adherence (i.e., rate of filled prescriptions) and secondary outcomes a reduction in the severity of psoriasis and cost-effectiveness. If the intervention can reduce the severity of psoriasis in a significant manner and is cost-effective, there is a potential for a national implementation of the intervention.