National Psoriasis Foundation leads international efforts to establish common measurement of treatment effectiveness and outcomes

IDEOM participants at the group's second meeting in Toronto in 2013

There is no standard measurement of success when treating psoriasis and other conditions that affect the skin. For example, there is no set definition of what "severe psoriasis" means for dermatologists and researchers in the U.S. and abroad.

Because of this, dermatologists treating people with psoriasis and other conditions that affect the skin face challenges in determining the success of a treatment. Establishing so-called standard outcomes measures – such as the severity of psoriasis, the effectiveness of a treatment and the effect psoriasis and skin diseases have on quality of life – would help researchers and health care providers recommend treatments and evaluate patient progress on therapies. Additionally, health insurance companies would use that information to shape payment policies that are based on the effectiveness of various treatments.

To address the lack of standardized outcomes in dermatology, the National Psoriasis Foundation and Dr. Alice Gottlieb, professor of dermatology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, spearheaded a group of leaders in the field to form the International Dermatology Outcomes Measures (IDEOM) consortium. IDEOM, launched in 2013, seeks to bring together physicians, researchers, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies and patients from around the globe to develop and validate measures throughout the field of dermatology with an initial focus on psoriasis.

The group's inaugural meeting in Boston established a need for consistent core measurements when evaluating clinical trials and therapeutic effectiveness. At the second meeting in Toronto, the group began discussing what elements are critical to psoriasis.

Patients are playing a large role in IDEOM by sharing what is most important to measure from the perspective of people living with psoriasis.

By the end of 2016, IDEOM hopes to produce a final set of validated outcomes measures.

October 8, 2013