Christine A. Silverthorne, from the University of the West of England in Bristol, and colleagues sought to understand the experience of screening from the perspective of 21 participants with psoriasis. Screening included an examination of skin, joints, hands, feet, scalp, physical tests (e.g., touching toes), height and weight measurement, blood tests, X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging scans, and questionnaires.
The researchers identified three main themes. First, screening was perceived as well-conducted and, overall, a positive and reassuring experience. Participants reported appreciating the thoroughness of the examination and the time to talk with specialists. Secondly, screening provided participants a sense of control over their health. Among those screening positive for PsA, they valued the help they were given in treating their condition, while those screening negative gained an awareness of symptoms for which to watch out. Lastly, participants suggested improvements to the screening process, including using case studies, signposting to support groups, and providing information. They also indicated barriers to screening, which included location, parking, and time of appointments.
“This qualitative study indicates that screening is acceptable and a potentially valuable method to increase the early detection of PsA in patients with psoriasis and improve their clinical outcomes,” the authors write.