The lived experience of patients with psoriasis
Gittings, Megan McGonigle.
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Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease affecting an estimated 4.5 million adults. Symptoms can be mild to severe, and consist of silvery exfoliative plaques of skin. Although there are various forms of treatment, there is no cure. Existing data regarding psoriasis confirms a link between decreased quality of life and psoriasis. Subjective data regarding the disease has been documented since 1976, however, there exists a lack of qualitative nursing research regarding psoriasis. Additionally, only one study was found in which the lived experience of psoriasis patients was documented. This phenomenologic study explores three patientαs lived experience with psoriasis in Montana. One on one interviews were conducted with the participants to document the experiences of living with psoriasis. Using the Roy Adaptation Model as a framework, particular emphasis is given to adaptative versus maladaptive responses. Entitled βlived experience statementsγ, quotes were taken from the interview transcripts and organized by common themes as well as individual statements. This was done, in part, due to Royαs belief that living systems are complex, and that adaptation can be an individual and dynamic response to the environment. An individualαs experience, while not common among all participants, is still reflective of their adaptation to disease. Participant responses illustrate concerns of patients with psoriasis and day to day events that may occur in their lives. By becoming familiar with lived experience statements, nurses, nurse practitioners and other health care providers can develop a deeper appreciation for the impact a diagnosis of psoriasis carries. This understanding may foster holistic care for the psoriasis patient, as well as encourage the nurse to be more aware of adaptation and the nurseαs role in the adaptive process.