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Stigmatizing Attitudes Towards Those with Psoriasis

J Am Acad Dermatol; ePub 2018 Aug 29; Pearl, et al

Stigmatizing views of persons with psoriasis are prevalent among people in the US, according to a recent investigation. Therefore, educational campaigns for the public and medical trainees may reduce stigma toward persons with psoriasis. Laypersons were recruited from Amazon.Com’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk; n=198). Additionally, 187 medical students were recruited via email. Participants completed an online survey in which they viewed images of persons with visible psoriasis. Participants reported their desire to socially avoid and emotional responses to the persons in the images, and their endorsement of psoriasis-related stereotypes and myths. Researchers found:

  • MTurk participants endorsed social avoidance items such as not wanting to shake hands with (39.4%) or have the persons in the images in their home (32.3%).
  • Participants stereotyped persons with psoriasis as contagious (27.3%) and endorsed the myth that psoriasis is not a serious disease (26.8%).
  • Linear regression results showed that having heard of or knowing someone with psoriasis predicted less stigmatizing attitudes.
  • Medical students reported less stigmatizing attitudes than did MTurk participants.

Pearl RL, Wan Mt, Takeshita J, Gelfand JM. Stigmatizing attitudes toward persons with psoriasis among laypersons and medical students. [Published online ahead of print August 29, 2018]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2018.08.014.