How Psoriatic Arthritis Affects Quality of Life | MyPsoriasisTeam

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How Psoriatic Arthritis Affects Quality of Life

Written by Beth Schneider
Posted on March 6, 2024

In a recent survey of MyPsoriasisTeam members, respondents discussed how psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can affect their quality of life and emotional well-being. Members also shared which symptoms they commonly experience and their desired treatment outcomes.

Who Took the Survey?

MyPsoriasisTeam conducted a survey with 265 members in the United States who have been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.

The survey asked members about:

  • The physical, social, and emotional impact of psoriatic arthritis
  • The symptoms they experienced in the past year
  • Their top three desired treatment outcomes

MyPsoriasisTeam shares the results of these member surveys so that our community can learn, collectively, from each other’s experiences.

Nearly Three-Quarters of MyPsoriasisTeam Members Say Psoriatic Arthritis Interferes With Quality of Life

Seventy-two percent of survey respondents reported that psoriatic arthritis negatively affects their quality of life. Almost half, 47 percent, say it interferes with their social life.

Forty-five percent say their psoriatic arthritis affects their ability to exercise. “Walking is really painful,” one member wrote. “I used to be very active, but I definitely can’t walk as far or as long as I previously did.” Another member shared, “I would like to be able to do the things I used to do. For one thing, I would like to be able to walk easier and work in my garden again.”

More Than Half of Survey Respondents Feel Embarrassed or Depressed

Seventy percent of survey takers said their psoriatic arthritis makes them feel embarrassed, and 58 percent said it makes them feel depressed.

“Since the PsA moved into my spine, I’ve been a lot less upbeat about symptom relief (i.e., pain, fatigue, stiffness, and yes, anxiety),” one MyPsoriasisTeam member shared. Another wrote, “This is a really hard condition to live with. The pain, fatigue, depression, etc., can be overwhelming.”

The Most Common Symptoms Are Joint Paint, Morning Stiffness, and Stiff Joints

Survey takers shared their symptoms. The top five most reported symptoms are:

  • Joint pain (92 percent)
  • Morning stiffness (90 percent)
  • Stiff joints (89 percent)
  • Fatigue (89 percent)
  • Swollen fingers, joints, or toes (84 percent)

In members’ own words:

  • “I’ve been having constant pain for almost two months with minimal relief. Hand-swelling and pain from the PsA has been greater than usual.”
  • “Too much pain in the morning. Fatigue, fatigue, fatigue.”
  • “Since the PsA moved into my feet, it can be very hard to walk anywhere.”
  • “I have extreme knee and leg pain — and in my back, hips, wrists, and fingers. I usually become drowsy and miserable. I rarely go out. I cannot walk.”
  • “Pain, pain, pain. My joints are bad today, and I am feeling very itchy although I have been moisturizing diligently.”

Beyond psoriatic arthritis-related joint pain and stiffness, many members were also grappling with psoriasis symptoms. Members report skin symptoms like dry skin (73 percent), itching (70 percent), red patches (57 percent), and small scaling spots (56 percent).

Reducing Joint Pain Is the Top Treatment Goal

Top treatment goals mirrored members’ commonly experienced symptoms. These included reducing joint pain (68 percent), reducing joint stiffness (65 percent), lessening fatigue (50 percent), and reducing joint swelling (34 percent).

Find Your Team

MyPsoriasisTeam is a social network for people living with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 125,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand what it’s like to be living with psoriasis.

How does psoriatic arthritis affect you? What advice do you have for others? Describe your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.

Posted on March 6, 2024
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Beth Schneider has been a market research professional for over 35 years. She focuses on both survey research and social listening analysis. Learn more about her here.

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