Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Psychologic Therapies in Management of Psoriasis

Cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapies, motivational interviewing, and educational and interdisciplinary interventions are all promising methods of psychological intervention in psoriasis. This according to a systemic review of studies investigating psychological interventions in psoriasis management published from January 1, 1990 through November 4, 2018. Researchers found:

  • 28 reports studying 27 unique sets of patients receiving psychological therapies in psoriasis management were identified, involving 1,522 patients.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy and its variants, biofeedback, meditation and mindfulness-based therapies, hypnosis, music resonance therapy, motivational interviewing, emotional disclosure, and educational and multidisciplinary approaches have been studied in the treatment of psoriasis.
  • Only 4 of 27 studies were rated a level of evidence of 1+ or greater.


Qureshi AA, Awosika O, Baruffi F, Rengifo-Pardo M, Ehrlich A. Psychological therapies in management of psoriatic skin disease: A systematic review. [Published online ahead of print April 2, 2019]. Am J Clin Dermatol. doi:10.1007/s40257-019-00437-7.


Although only 4 of the 27 studies were rated as positive, there were limitations in these studies as such as small samples sizes and the heterogeneity of the trials. Because psoriasis has a substantial impact on the quality of life, patients may benefit from psychologic treatment modalities to enhance their well-being regardless of whether they are on therapy or not. While psychologic intervention may not have a direct impact on the psoriasis, mind therapy can have positive influences on patient’s emotional state of mind and may lead to other benefits such as being healthier, increasing compliance, and better social outcomes. —Paul S. Yamauchi, MD, PhD; Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Division of Dermatology; Adjunct Associate Professor John Wayne Cancer Institute.