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chronic skin condition, coping, eruption, hidradenitis suppurativa, lived experience, pain, psoriasis, qualitative study



  1. Fisher, Shani MA, RN
  2. Ellen, Moriah PhD
  3. Cohen, Arnon D. MD
  4. Kagan, Ilya PhD, RN


OBJECTIVE: Psoriasis and hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) are both chronic inflammatory skin diseases with significant comorbidity. This study aimed to examine how patients with psoriasis or HS cope with their conditions on a personal and psychosocial level, especially in times of clinical exacerbation and symptom deterioration.


DESIGN: This qualitative initial study used the phenomenology model to examine patients' lived experiences through the lens of their disease. Via semistructured interviews and content analysis, researchers aimed to describe the subjective reality of people with HS or psoriasis and identify any common issues.


PATIENTS AND INTERVENTION: Six open pilot interviews with three patients with HS and three patients with psoriasis uncovered five cardinal domains affecting patients' lives. After completing all the interviews, transcripts were analyzed and classified numerically by frequency of identified terms and keywords. After classifications and data ranking, the main issues were identified and separated into the five domains.


MAIN RESULTS: Researchers interviewed 20 patients (10 with psoriasis and 10 with HS). The five domains were distressing symptoms, struggling to cope with the disease, avoiding acute or recurrent eruptions, dealing with eruption, and information sources regarding the disease. Pain and pruritus were the most disturbing symptoms, and the remaining issues concerned the emotional, functional, and financial burden of these chronic conditions.


CONCLUSIONS: Even though the symptoms of HS and psoriasis are different, this study reveals common denominators regarding the emotional side of living with chronic skin disease.