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Home UVB Therapy Is Feasible for Psoriasis Patients

Last Updated: May 08, 2009.

In patients with mild-to-severe psoriasis, home-based and clinic-based ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy are equally safe and effective, but home-based therapy may be associated with greater patient satisfaction, according to a study published online May 7 in BMJ.

FRIDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with mild-to-severe psoriasis, home-based and clinic-based ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy are equally safe and effective, but home-based therapy may be associated with greater patient satisfaction, according to a study published online May 7 in BMJ.

Mayke B. G. Koek, M.D., of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and colleagues randomly assigned 196 patients to receive either home or clinic-based UVB phototherapy and followed the first 105 patients for one year after therapy.

The researchers found that similar proportions of patients achieved the primary outcome, which was a 50 percent reduction of the baseline psoriasis area and severity index or the self-administered psoriasis area and severity index. For home-based patients, the success rates were 70 percent and 82 percent, respectively. For clinic-based patients, the rates were 73 percent and 79 percent, respectively. They also found that home-based patients were more likely to rate their experience as "excellent" (42 percent versus 23 percent).

"The study highlights an important gap in the provision of treatment for patients with psoriasis," states the author of an accompanying editorial. "With new potent, but costly, biological treatments now widely available for moderate to severe psoriasis, it is timely to reassess conventional treatments such as UVB. It would be inappropriate for patients to receive these new and expensive treatments when the infrastructure to deliver well established cheaper treatments, such as UVB, is lacking."

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