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An Assessment of the Continuing Education Needs of Nurse Practitioners Who Manage Patients With Psoriasis

Barnes, Justin A.; Hwang, Sharon; Scalici, Samantha; Merwin, Patti; Kramerman, Inessa; Weinberg, Jeffrey M.; Cerenzia, Wendy

Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association: May/June 2017 - Volume 9 - Issue 3 - p 131–135
doi: 10.1097/JDN.0000000000000307

Introduction Psoriasis affects 2%–3% of the U.S. population and can have a profound impact on patient quality of life. Nurse practitioners (NPs) have a key role in managing psoriasis, and they need to stay current in this rapidly evolving area. Continuing education programs can increase the capabilities of NPs; however, these programs must target the areas of greatest educational need. This study was conducted to identify and quantify educational needs among NPs related to psoriasis.

Methods Practice patterns of NPs were assessed using a case vignette survey, a validated method of assessing clinician practice patterns. The survey instrument presented two patient cases followed by questions presenting choices for severity assessment, treatment approach, and assessment of comorbidity risks.

Results Several important educational gaps were identified by this study. NPs generally treat patients appropriately based on the perceived level of disease severity; however, approximately half of NPs underestimated disease severity in both patient cases, setting up the possibility of undertreatment. Additional gaps were identified in assessing risks of common psoriasis comorbidities.

Conclusions The results of this study will allow for the design of optimally targeted continuing education programs, which in turn will enhance the capabilities of NPs who manage patients with psoriasis.

Justin A. Barnes, PhD, CE Outcomes, LLC, Birmingham, AL.

Sharon Hwang, MD, CE Outcomes, LLC, Birmingham, AL.

Samantha Scalici, MS, CE Outcomes, LLC, Birmingham, AL.

Patti Merwin, BSN, Celgene Corporation, Summit, NJ.

Inessa Kramerman, PA, Forest Hills Dermatology Group, Forest Hills, NY.

Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD, Forest Hills Dermatology Group, Forest Hills; and Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY.

Wendy Cerenzia, MS, CE Outcomes, LLC, Birmingham, AL.

Funding: This study was sponsored by Celgene Corporation and performed independently by CE Outcomes, LLC.

Patti Merwin is an employee of and owns stock or has stock options in Celgene Corporation. All other authors confirm that there are no conflicts of interest to disclose, which could influence the results or interpretations presented in this manuscript.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Justin A. Barnes, PhD, CE Outcomes, LLC, 107 Frankfurt Circle, Birmingham, AL 35211. E-mail:

Copyright © 2017 by the Dermatology Nurses' Association.