Patient-centered Care in Vitiligo: Navigating the Patient Conversation and Treatment Goals
Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology
University of California
San Francisco, CA
In this installment of Topical Conversations, Tina Bhutani, MD, MAS, provides her thoughts on the article, “Perspectives of Vitiligo Patients: Voices from National Vitiligo Conferences,” published in SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine by O’Connell et al.
This study looked at surveys taken by participants who attended the virtual US World Vitiligo Day in 2020 and 2021.
When polled about acceptance of their disease, 40% responded that they are accepting of their vitiligo on most days.
However, most participants (76% in 2020 and 92% in 2021) reported that they would like a cure for vitiligo.
Impact on patient conversations and treatment approach
Dr Bhutani comments on the importance for clinicians to recognize that even though a patient may be accepting of their condition, comfortable with it, and show it publicly (as 40% reported doing), they would still like to find a treatment that would decrease their disease burden.
The survey showed that 20% of patients were interested in trying treatments even if they included moderate side effects. Dr Bhutani remarks that this highlights the importance of having open discussions with patients and considering individualized care, since some patients may be open to attempting more aggressive therapy while others are not interested in treatments or only willing to attempt treatments without side effects.
The future of vitiligo treatments
With many new treatments for vitiligo in the pipeline, Dr Bhutani reflects that this is an exciting time for patients and a good time for providers to start these conversations with patients to provide hope for this condition that has a significant impact on quality of life but has long been understudied.
Read the full article in SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine.
- “Perspectives of Vitiligo Patients: Voices from National Vitiligo Conferences” was published in SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine
- The study examined results of a poll that solicited information from participants regarding their quality of life with vitiligo
- Results showed that a majority of patients would like a cure for vitiligo, even though 40% reported they are accepting of their condition on most days 20% of patients were interested in trying treatments even with moderate side effects
- Clinicians should have open discussions with their patients with vitiligo and consider individualized care