What you need to know about the new PsA treatment guidelines
You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers.
Q: Do these guidelines apply to me? What should I do?
A: The guidelines apply to you if you have been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis but you’ve never been treated, or if you have been treated but your PsA is still active and affects your life. Ask your rheumatologist about what the guidelines mean for your treatment, especially if you’re not already taking a TNFi biologic.
Q: What if I don’t have a rheumatologist?
A: We can help you find one. Just contact our Patient Navigation Center for free assistance locating a health care provider in your area who truly understands PsA. Patient navigators can also offer resources if you have other questions about psoriatic disease.
Q: How do I talk about the guidelines with my rheumatologist? What if he or she hasn’t heard of it?
Doctors are busy people, but they want to hear your concerns. Start by doing a little homework. Read our story on the guidelines, which also links to the full article from the Journal of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. Ask your doctor how the guidelines apply to you.
April Armstrong, M.D., director of the psoriasis program in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Southern California and a former NPF medical board member, cautions against appearing confrontational when bringing up the topic of treatment guidelines.
“Some providers who do not know about the guidelines may need time to read about them, digest them, and think about how these goals can be applied to their individual patients,” she says. “If they are initially unaware of these treatment targets, please do not act as if they should know them. Rather, ask them to visit the NPF site to read more about them. You can always come back to this issue at your next visit.”
Your patient navigator can help you prep for this conversation.
Q: Are there other resources where I can learn more?
A: Check back for webinars and interviews with the experts involved in developing the treatment guidelines. You can also listen to our Psound Bytes podcast for an informal talk with Philip Mease, M.D., a Seattle rheumatologist who is internationally renowned for his work with PsA patients.