4 years ago

Simulating the life course of psoriasis patients: The interplay between therapy intervention and marital status

Arnoldo Frigessi, Stefano Piaserico, Nico Keilman, Dennis Linder
Background psoriasis, a chronic relapsing inflammatory disease affecting primarily the skin, shows multiple comorbidities including depression, cardiovascular diseases and other relevant conditions. Psoriasis patients experience social isolation, job loss, financial difficulties, and partnership problems. Inversely, psychosocial impairments may negatively influence the disease course. Objective To explore the feasibility of a model describing the interaction of psychosocial and clinical factors over the life course of patients. Methods we considered only seven states for members of a hypothetical population: single and healthy, single and having a psoriasis flare, single and “cured”, coupled and healthy, coupled and having a psoriasis flare, coupled and “cured”, and dead. Transition probabilities between states were taken from the Norwegian Population Register for the healthy population and from epidemiological research articles. Clinical experience allowed adjustments on the assumed parameters. Results Our macro-model, which simulates the effect of therapy intervention on patients’ partnership status, yields a description of the transitions between the seven states. Treatment efficacy shows only a negligible effect on the chances of living with a partner. Conclusions Mathematical modelling of interactions between social and health variables is in principle feasible. However complex models, comprising more variables (for instance: employment status, depression level, obesity etc.) are needed for more realistic simulations for the interactions studied. Since increasing the number of variables leads to an exponential increase of the model's state space, switching to micro-modelling (representing each individual separately) may be necessary. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/jdv.14567

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