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Psorisis Patients Flock to Social Media for Support

Posted: January 9, 2013

A recent study has found that lack of support from family and friends drives psoriasis patients to use social media for advice on how to manage their disease.

The study, conducted by the National Psoriasis Foundation and online patient support network Inspire, examined the social media habits of members in the Inspire/NPF TalkPsoriasis.org online community comprised of more than 15,000 active psoriasis patients.

The results showed that 48% of patients who do not have support from friends and family say they are likely to use social media regularly on a long-term basis versus 31% of patients with support. Other key findings include: 

  • Psoriasis patients tend to use social media/online communities more for practical advice related to their disease than emotional support.
  • About 8 in 10 say the use social media because they want to learn how others manage their disease, as well as get tips and ideas they couldn’t find elsewhere.
  • Use and reliance of social media varies depending on the severity of the disease. In fact, 35% of moderate to severe psoriasis patients belong to one or more online community. Meanwhile, 15% of mild psoriasis patients belong to one or more online communities.
  • Patients with moderate to severe psoriasis are more likely to use social media for emotional support (50%) versus those with mild forms of psoriasis (one-third).
  • Psoriasis patients are avid users of social media: 70% of respondents use any type of social media at least several times per week and 44% use psoriasis-specific social media several times per week.