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Factors ID'd That Affect Medical Decision-Making in Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Five factors identified, including suffering threshold, perceptions of treatment risk, treatment fatigue

By Elana Gotkine (HealthDay News) | January 17, 2024

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Factors that affect medical decision-making among patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) include suffering threshold, perceptions of treatment risk, treatment fatigue, understanding of the disease, and sources of information, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in JAMA Dermatology.

Nicole Salame, M.D., from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues examined factors that affect the medical decision-making process for patients with HS. Open-ended semistructured interviews were conducted with 21 English-speaking adults with HS recruited from two dermatology clinics. On a 0- to 10-point numeric rating scale, participants had an average seven-day pain score of 1 or higher.

The researchers found that 96 percent of the participants had Hurley stage II or III disease and 71 percent had a history of adalimumab use. Factors affecting participants' decisions to initiate new treatments for HS included suffering threshold, perceptions of treatment risk, treatment fatigue, disease understanding, and sources of information (dermatologists, the internet, advertisements, and friends and loved ones).

"By addressing misconceptions about perceived risks, identifying gaps in disease knowledge, and emphasizing the importance of early treatment to prevent scarring and disease progression, dermatologists may empower patients with HS to make informed and meaningful treatment decisions and to try new therapies," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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