Psoriasis Education Tool for Patient-physician Decision-making About Biologics

A Pilot Study

Marissa Nahirney, BHSc; Matthew Hum, MD, CCFP; Pamela Mathura, MBA; Marlene Dytoc, MD, PhD, FRCPC


Skin Therapy Letter. 2021;26(6) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Although biologics are well-studied, expertise regarding their use is often lacking. Many biologics have been added to the market in recent years with distinctive characteristics. This study was designed to create a tool to assist physicians involved in the care of patients with psoriasis undergoing biologic treatment. We used a quality improvement approach to develop and trial an educational visual aid to deliver comprehensive information about biologics in a convenient manner. As a pilot study, trialing this tool was carried out on a small scale to test the feasibility of both the study design and the visual aid itself, with 8 physician and 8 patients completing questionnaires evaluating the visual aid. From our results, the tool was helpful for improving patient knowledge of biologic treatment and their engagement in clinical decision-making. This visual aid may serve as a central convenient biologic resource for physicians.


Biologics are a class of drugs that are often used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis. Approximately 1 million Canadians are affected by psoriasis and of those, 39.9% are treated with biologics.[1] As new biologics continue to enter the market, understanding the unique characteristics of each drug in this therapeutic class is a complicated endeavor. The authors undertook this study with the primary objective of evaluating the extent to which an educational visual aid of biologics could aid dermatologists in counseling their patients during treatment planning. The biologic handout that was created for this study is the main deliverable which we aim to circulate widely, as a means of encouraging shared decision-making and transparency of pharmaceutical options. Our secondary objective was to identify the factors that physicians consider important in their choice of biologics.