As the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spread early in the year, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) recognized the critical need for additional information for health care providers and individuals living with psoriatic disease on managing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020 NPF released “NPF Medical Board COVID-19 Recommendations for Patients with Psoriatic Disease,” which provided early guidance for the community based on information available at that time.
In May, to effectively serve the psoriatic disease community through this pandemic and to closely monitor evolving data and advances, NPF formed the NPF COVID-19 Task Force. This group, which is chaired by dermatologist Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE, FAAD and rheumatologist Christopher T. Ritchlin, M.D., M.P.H., is comprised of experts from both the NPF Medical Board and Scientific Advisory Committee and consists of experts in dermatology, rheumatology, infectious disease and critical care. The charge of the Task Force is to identify critical needs for the psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis community related to the pandemic and to serve as an expert resource to NPF in an advisory capacity. The group will address short-, mid- and long-term needs.
One of the first activities of the task force was to review and update the preliminary recommendations of NPF medical and scientific leaders. In early June, the NPF COVID-19 Task Force released updated recommendations for the community.
The most recent update, which took place August 20, is the result of a modified Delphi process that was conducted asking the Task Force members to provide consensus on important questions posed by patients and providers. As part of this process, the Task Force co-chairs completed weekly literature searches for COVID-19 in relation to psoriatic disease. Using this evidence-based information, guidance statements were developed and underwent 2 rounds of voting with discussion in between. The Task Force members reached consensus on 22 guidance statements for the psoriatic disease community, with 9 statements receiving high consensus and the remaining 13 statements receiving moderate consensus.
Health care providers and patients are encouraged to visit NPF’s COVID-19 Resource Center for the latest guidance from the Task Force, in order to promote optimal care and outcomes for patients with psoriatic disease during the pandemic.
COVID-19 Task Force Guidance Statements
Updated February 9, 2021