Exploring Healthcare Professionals’ Personal Models About Psoriasis: ‘we Understand but we Forget it’
1University of Manchester and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Dermatology Research Centre, Manchester, UK
2Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
3University of Manchester, Manchester Centre for Health Psychology, Manchester, UK
Background Psoriasis is a long-term condition associated with significant psychological and physical disability. Illness beliefs or ‘personal models’ underpin patients’ mood, self-management, and healthcare seeking behaviours but little is known about health professionals’ understanding of psoriasis and how this informs clinical decision making. We examined health professionals’ personal models about psoriasis. Method In-depth interviews were conducted with 23 practitioners managing people with psoriasis. Analysis was informed by the Common Sense Model, and principles of Framework Analysis. Findings Practitioners often held incongruent personal models about psoriasis; while commonly aware of the condition’s complexity and long-term nature, they described more linear and narrowly focused approaches to management and acute skin-focused management strategies. Conclusions Practitioners’ understanding of psoriasis conflicts with their reported management of the condition. Addressing practitioners’ personal models of psoriasis may address the current mismatch between understanding and practice.