Power is Only Skin Deep: An Institutional Ethnography of Nurse-Driven Outpatient Psoriasis Treatment in the Era of Clinic Web Sites
Patients with psoriasis referred to the Dermatology Service at Women's College Hospital and satisfying certain criteria relating to percentage body involvement, age, and the absence of serious coincident conditions were assigned at random to three weeks of day care and education at the Psoriasis Education and Research Centre (PERC) or to the Dermatology Service at Women's College Hospital (WCH) for normal hospital care. On admission, all study patients received normal history and physical examinations and were photographed by a standardized procedure that provided an accurate estimate of type and extent of body involvement. A functional history was taken from PERC patients that provided information concerning their ability to cope at home, at work, and socially; the extent and appropriateness of their self-care practices; and their knowledge concerning the pathophysiology and etiology of psoriasis and the names and actions of the medications they were using. Individualized patient education programs were designed with reference to the medical and functional information and implemented in the three weeks of day care. Photographic assessment and the functional history were repeated at three weeks, six months and twelve months. Hospital patients were reassessed at six and twelve months and a functional history was taken at six months. The functional status of PERC and hospital patients was compared at six months. The results of this study reinforced the belief that in the case of psoriasis, education coupled with treatment is more effective than treatment alone.