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Bridging the gap between patients and access to psoriasis specialists

Presented by
Dr Silvia Fernandez Barrio, AEPSO, Argentina
WPPAC 2021
Access to medical specialists in psoriasis can be challenging. As was the case in Argentina, where the current study, awarded the ‘Best patient organisation poster,’ was performed. Results demonstrated a gap between the number of patients in certain areas and access to medical specialists.

In 2015, the civil association for patients with psoriasis in Argentina, called AEPSO, published a survey conducted with 400 patients with psoriasis. This survey demonstrated that 38% of patients with psoriasis were diagnosed 1 year after symptom onset. This delay was 6 months to 10 years in patients with PsA. To reach a psoriasis diagnosis, patients needed to consult more than 5 dermatologists. This 2015 survey also showed that affected people tended to change dermatologists frequently because of the lack of treatment response.

The current study collected data from >500 dermatologists and rheumatologists in a database. Since 2016, there were 30,000 searches for a specialist. The database indicated that there are more dermatologists than rheumatologists. Dr Silvia Fernandez Barrio (AEPSO, Argentina) and colleagues also found that at least 7 cities have no rheumatologist, and 1 city has no dermatologist. Furthermore, they found that at least 7 cities have less than 2 dermatologists. In these areas with few or no healthcare professionals, there were 100 patient consultations. Hence, access to healthcare professionals is poor.

The observed gap between the number of patients in a certain area and the access to medical specialists can be bridged by educational programmes that aim to train dermatologists and rheumatologists in treating patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. In addition, there is a need for dermatologists and rheumatologists in some cities of Argentina.

  1. Fernandez Barrio S. Correlation between patients’ needs and their access to psoriasis specialists. Poster P82, 6th World Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis Conference, 30 June–3 July 2021.


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