A recent study published in the Archives of Dermatology, a Journal of the American Medical Association journal, concludes that many patients suffering from skin and joint problems that result from psoriasis can improve their emotional health and well-being by participating in online support groups.
260 adults participated in a study conducted by the team at the Center for Connected Health and Massachusetts General Hospital; participants were required to use an online support site to keep up with the latest news about their health problems, and interact with community members about their health issues.
Dermatologists previously noted that many people suffering from psoriasis were embarrassed abot the problem and rarely turned to others for help. The support groups helped many people connect with others with a similar condition, while remaining anonymous. This helped relieve the pressure of sharing, what to them, was an incredibly embarrassing problem, and the community could serve as a positive place to manage the condition.
The official report and results of the study indicate that;
"People with chronic disease are believed to relate best to Web-based information produced by other patients. Internet support groups share common objectives with their face-to-face counterparts but have strengths and weaknesses unique to the online setting. Although online support may lack the immediacy and intensity of a group meeting, it allows members to access information at a time and place of their choice. In addition, it offers individuals the advantage of anonymity and perceived lack of judgment."
In addition to anonymous support groups, patients can turn to local resources and workshops sponsored by the National Psoriasis Foundation that may help with copoing methods and giving patients a chance to meet with a counselor or other patients in a face-to-face setting.
Still, for those who are not seeking help because they are embarrassed or ashamed of their condition can still turn to the Internet for a wealth of resources and valuable contacts.