On 27-30 June 2018, the ISF was pleased to be represented by two patient representatives at the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) 5th World Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis Conference, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden.
Caroline Irwin, psoriasis-patient advocate and ISF board member and Grace Kelly, psoriasis patient, met people from patient organisations from all around the world, each with their own experiences of living with psoriatic disease.
Through their participation both learned about the harsh stigmatisation endured by people living with psoriasis in many countries around the world and the deep lack of knowledge and education about psoriasis, and its severity, along with challenges in accessing appropriate treatment.
Talks included topics such as “A multidisciplinary approach to treating inflammation in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis” by Dr. Joseph F, Merola, MD from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston who stated that “it takes a team” to treat the patient.
Also of particular interest to our ISF delegates was the talk entitled “Psychosocial issues connected to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis” by Dr. Florence Dalgard from the University of Oslo, Department of Rheumatology, Dermatology and Infectious Diseases.
Her findings showed that the “physical signs do not always correspond with the patient’s experiences”, that there is a “profound effect on self-image and self-esteem”. Psoriasis impacts “everyday life, intimacy” and “quality of life impairment is linked to symptoms”. There is a “mental health comorbidity” and the disease is “as much a disability as heart disease and diabetes”. From our experience in supporting patients with psoriasis, the ISF would share these views.
In meeting with psoriasis organisations from around the world our patient representatives gained an appreciation of the global impact of psoriasis, whilst bringing an Irish perspective to all those with whom they met.
The ISF would like to thank AbbVie for supporting the ISF’s attendance at this year’s conference.
For more information about Psoriasis, visit our Psoriasis page , or download our psoriasis booklet .If you need help or guidance about managing your eczema, contact the ISF Helpline or call (01) 486-6280.