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Psoriasis remains incurable and many sufferers experience related psychological distress and a lower quality of life comparable with other chronic diseases. A subpopulation of people with psoriasis believes their condition is exacerbated by psychological stress. This review analyses whether stress-reduction interventions can reduce: the physical severity of psoriasis and related psychological distress. A systematic search across EMBASE, MEDLINE, The Cochrane Library SIGLE and PsychInfo, identified 730 trials and 10 were included. Three trials found a significant difference in psoriasis outcomes between groups post-intervention, (p < 0.05). Seven studies included a psychological outcome and three found a significant difference (p < 0.05). Three trials included a quality of life measurement and one of these reported a significant improvement (p < 0.001). Due to low quality evidence it is currently insufficient to judge stress reduction interventions as either effective or ineffective. We make nine recommendations for future research in this multidisciplinary field.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychol Health Med

Publication Date





501 - 514


Cognitive Therapy, Humans, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Psoriasis, Quality of Life, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Relaxation Therapy, Severity of Illness Index, Stress, Psychological