Treatment of Psoriasis in the Nordic Countries: A Questionnaire Survey from 5739 Members of the Psoriasis Associations - Data from the Nordic Quality of Life Study
Hugh Zachariae, Robert Zachariae, Kirsti Blomqvist, Steingrimur Davidsson, Lars Molin, Cato Mørk, Bardur Sigurgeirsson
The data from a questionnaire-based study of 5,739 members of thepsoriasis associationsof Denmark, Finland, Iceland,Norway, Sweden and the Faeroe Islands showed that the two most commonly used active agents were topical steroids (89.7 % total use and 49.4 % present use) and calcipotriol (73.1 % total use and 35.8 % present use), with only small variations between the countries. Marked differences between the countries were, however, found within all other types of psoriasis therapy, including the so-called alternative treatments. Significant priorities varied between the different countries. The use of dithranol in Finland was almost twice the average. While 14.2 % of Danish members had received grenz-rays within the last week only 0.1 % of the Finns had been given the same treatment. Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) was being used by 13.1 % of the Finnishpsoriatics compared with 3.8 % of Danes, while PUVA was almost non-existent on the Faeroe Islands. The use of non-PUVA phototherapy was highest in Norway and Sweden. Almost 10 % of the Danes were presently on methotrexate, which was used far more than etretinate / acitretin or cyclosporine. In contrast, Finnish patients more often received etretinate than other systemic agents, and in Iceland there was a higher present use of cyclosporine than of etretinate. The popularity of alternative therapies was highest in Iceland, where 26.6 % had taken such medication during the last week. The results of the study suggest that di fferent treatment patterns should be taken into consideration when discussing the prognosis of psoriasis in different countries.