The use of an app on the part of patients with psoriasis has been shown to improve adherence rates to topical treatments, and thus reduce disease severity, according to the results of a randomized controlled trial conducted at the Odense University Hospital in Denmark and published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
The investigators sought to evaluate whether the use of a study-specific app among patients with psoriasis would improve treatment adherence rates and reduce symptoms of the disorder compared with the use of standard therapy.
A total of 134 participants with mild to moderate psoriasis were enrolled in the study. The mean patient age was 48 years (range, 21-75 years). The majority of the participants had been diagnosed with psoriasis for >20 years, with only a few of them having a history of receiving antipsoriatic therapies.
The 134 participants were randomly assigned into 1 of 2 treatment groups at the baseline visit, with 66 in the nonintervention group (ie, no app) and 68 in the app intervention group. All patients received once-daily medication (calcipotriol/betamethasone dipropionate cutaneous foam).
The primary study outcome was adherence, which was defined as applying the medication ≥80% of days during the treatment period and was assessed by a chip that was inserted into the medication dispenser. The secondary outcomes included psoriasis severity, which was assessed by the Lattice System Physician’s Global Assessment, and quality of life, which was evaluated by Dermatology Life Quality Index scales at all visits.
The results of the study demonstrated that significantly more participants in the intervention group were adherent to the calcipotriol/betamethasone dipropionate foam compared with those in the nonintervention group at 4 weeks (65% vs 38%, respectively; P =.004).
With respect to secondary study outcomes, a significantly greater reduction in the Lattice System Physician’s Global Assessment was observed in the intervention group compared with the nonintervention group at 4 weeks (mean, 1.86 vs 1.46, respectively; P =.047). Similar effects were reported at 8 and 26 weeks as well, but they did not attain statistical significance.
The investigators concluded that according to the findings from this study, a potential exists for the implementation of patient-supporting apps in the dermatology clinic. The supporting app used by the participants in the intervention group provided them with daily reminders and informed them about whether they had applied their treatment.
Svendsen MT, Andersen F, Andersen KH, et al. An app supporting psoriasis patients improves adherence to topical treatment: a randomised controlled trial [published online April 14, 2018]. Br J Dermatol. doi: 10.1111/bjd.16667