Regular support provided by dermatological nurses improves outcomes in patients with psoriasis treated with topical drugs: a randomized controlled trial

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Background: Patient adherence to topical antipsoriatic drugs is often poor, leading to poor efficacy. Use of long-term support delivered by dermatological nurses to patients treated with topical drugs may improve outcome. Aim: To evaluate whether regular support from dermatological nurses improves outcome and treatment adherence in patients with psoriasis receiving topical medications. Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) ( registration NCT04220554), in which patients received once-daily topical medications (containing corticosteroids and/or calcipotriol) for as long as their psoriasis was visible. The patients were randomly allocated to standard care by the dermatologist either with (n = 51) or without (n = 52) support from dermatological nurses. The nurse support intervention consisted of a structured dermatological consultation at baseline and Week 1, followed by contact with a nurse each month (in the outpatient clinic or by telephone). The primary outcome was severity of psoriasis, which was measured by the Lattice System Physician's Global Assessment (LS-PGA) and assessed by intention-to-treat analyses using linear mixed regression models for longitudinal data. Secondary outcomes were quality of life (measured by the Dermatology Life Quality Index; DLQI) and good adherence (defined as use of ≥ 80% of recommended doses). Results: In total, 92 patients (89%) completed the 48-week trial period. The intervention group improved more than the nonintervention group from baseline to Week 24 in LS-PGA (2.21 vs. 1.28, P = 0.001) and in DLQI at Week 12 (6.50 vs. 1.55, P < 0.001). Differences between the two groups in favour of the intervention were observed throughout the study period. More participants in the intervention group had good adherence compared with the nonintervention group (36% vs. 14%, P < 0.001). Conclusion: Regular, continued patient support from dermatological nurses increased the efficacy of psoriasis treatment, improved quality of life and enhanced long-term adherence to topical antipsoriatic drugs. However, there is still room for more improvement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Experimental Dermatology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2208-2221
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Dermatologic Agents/therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance
  • Prostaglandins A/therapeutic use
  • Psoriasis/drug therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


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