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Higher education and income levels are associated with increased willi

Research Activities, September 2009, No. 349

Higher education and income levels are associated with increased willingness to pay for a psoriasis cure

Psoriasis is a chronic, incurable skin disease. It can affect patients' quality of life with symptoms that range from red, scaly patches on the skin to swollen, stiff joints when it is accompanied by arthritis. A new study from Harvard Medical School finds that 90 percent of patients report that their psoriasis causes physical discomfort with pain, itching, burning, or stinging. These patients also indicate a willingness to pay from $500 to $5,000 for a cure for these symptoms.

The disease can also take an emotional and social toll on patients. More than 80 percent reported their psoriasis made them anxious, depressed, or uncomfortable shaking hands with people. These patients indicated a willingness to pay an average of $1,000 for a cure. Individuals with high household incomes and high education levels often reported they were willing to pay high amounts for a cure. By measuring a willingness to pay, the researchers believe they can generate quantitative quality of life data. In turn, this information can help physicians better understand how diseases like psoriasis affect their patients' quality of life and can be used in therapeutic decisionmaking. A larger study is needed to validate this willingness-to-pay research method, which was conducted with 40 patients with psoriasis. This study was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS14010).

See "Willingness-to-pay stated preferences for 8 health-related quality-of-life domains in psoriasis: A pilot study," by Matthew Delfino, Jr., M.B.A., Elizabeth W. Holt, M.P.H., Charles R. Taylor, M.D., and others in the September 2008 Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 59(3), pp. 439-447.

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Current as of April 2009
Internet Citation: Higher education and income levels are associated with increased willi: Research Activities, September 2009, No. 349. April 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/research-activities/apr09/0409RA27.html