Experience of Being Young With Psoriasis: Self-Management Support Needs

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Abstract

Psoriasis is a long-term condition with a possibly cumulative life course impairment. Young people struggle to minimize its effects on appearance and functioning. To date, the self-management needs of adolescents suffering from psoriasis have been underinvestigated. Using focus groups and individual interviews, we present an interpretive description of young people’s experiences of living with psoriasis, the challenges they face, and the support they need to relieve suffering and come to terms with their condition. This process is characterized by loneliness, the self-imposition of limitations, and the lack of personalized knowledge and communication skills to manage the impact of disease and society’s reactions. Our study provides insight into needs of early interventions tailored to address condition, role, and emotional management, involving parent education, peer support, storytelling, and roles for professionals. We argue that further research should involve young people, their parents, and professionals in the development and evaluation of interventions.

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