The first step is to measure the impact of your psoriasis and then take steps to lessen it. There are several assessment tools that you and your doctor can use to measure the impact of psoriasis on your life:
DLQI - Dermatology Life Quality Index
The DLQI is a 10-item questionnaire that incorporates patients’ assessments of itch, pain, feelings of embarrassment and self-consciousness, problems with their psoriasis treatment, and interference of their psoriasis with daily activities, relationships, and sexual activity. The DLQI scores range from 0 (no impairment) to 30 (maximal impairment).
ItchVAS - Itching Visual Analog Scale
The 10-point Itching VAS is a modified VAS with scores ranging from 0 (no itching) to 10 (severe itching).
PSA - Psoriasis Sympton Assessment
The PSA is a 16-item measure of 8 psoriasis-related symptoms (hurt, burning or stinging, itching, bothered by water, irritated, sensitive, skin condition bled, scaling). The PSA contains 2 subscales, one measuring the frequency of the 8 symptoms and the other assessing how troublesome or bothersome the psoriasis symptoms are.
HADS - Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale
The HADS is a 14-item instrument (7 anxiety related questions and 7 depression related questions) designed to detect the presence and severity of mild degrees of mood disorder, anxiety and depression. Subscale scores of 0-7 are considered normal, 8-10 borderline and 11 or over suggesting clinically-significant anxiety or depression.
WLQ - Work Limitations Questionnaire
The WLQ is a 25−item instrument measuring the degree to which employed individuals are experiencing work-related limitations and health-related loss of productivity (Presenteeism) because of health problems. The WLQ’s 25 items are divided into four scales.
The Time Management scale contains five items that address difficulty handling time and scheduling demands.
The six-item Physical Demands scale covers a person’s ability to perform job tasks that involve bodily strength, movement, endurance, coordination and flexibility.
The Mental-Interpersonal Demands Scale has nine items addressing cognitive job tasks, such as thinking and planning, and on-the-job social interactions.
The fourth scale is the Output Demands scale and contains five items concerning work quantity and quality.
The scores of the scales range from 0 to 100 and represent the reported amount of time in the prior two weeks respondents’ work was limited or affected. Additionally, using a formula that is provided, WLQ scale scores can be converted into an estimate of lost productivity.
If a test – or a talk with your doctor – suggests that psoriasis is affecting your quality of life, you might consider:
- Reviewing your treatment plan with your doctor. Is it the best treatment it could be?
- Talking with a healthcare provider, mental health specialist or a counsellor about your feelings.
- Taking a disease self–management course to help you learn how to better cope with your condition.
- Connecting with other psoriasis patients in Taking Action.
- Relaxing with your friends who accept you as you are.
Remember that you are not defined by your psoriasis!