October 16, 2018
Online care was just as effective as in-person care in improving clinical outcomes for patients with psoriasis, according to a study published online in JAMA Network Open.
The study randomized 148 adults with psoriasis to online care and 148 others to in-person care over 12 months. The online, collaborative connected-health delivery model allowed patients and primary care physicians asynchronous access to dermatologists, who provided assessments, recommendations, education, and prescriptions online. Patients in the in-person group sought psoriasis care from primary care physicians or dermatologists in person.
At the end of 12 months, researchers found an equivalent improvement in psoriasis severity in both groups as measured by Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) scores and body surface area affected by psoriasis. In addition, patients in the online group showed greater improvement in psoriasis severity as gauged by the patient global assessment, which reflects the patients’ perspective of disease severity, compared with participants in the in-person group.
“These findings demonstrated that the collaborative connected-health model is as effective as in-person care in improving patient outcomes. Furthermore, this online model brought specialist care to patients and primary care physicians in a location-independent, time-independent, and efficient manner,” researchers wrote. “Because the study population reflects real-world patients who are receiving ongoing therapies, the study findings are particularly applicable to the maintenance of therapy for patients with psoriasis.”
When collaboration, quality, and efficiency are emphasized, innovative telehealth models have the potential to be “transformative” in improving chronic disease outcomes in patients, researchers concluded.
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