Psoriasis Prevalence and Severity by Expert Elicitation Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • INTRODUCTION: An estimated 2-4% of Western populations are thought to have psoriasis, with a regional incidence ranging from 0.09% to 11.43%. Variance in estimates is a result of differences in study populations, methodology, regional differences, and definitions of disease. Reliable prevalence estimates of plaque psoriasis are challenging to establish. Further, the distribution of psoriasis severity in the population is unknown. This study aims to establish the utility of expert elicitation (EE) as a method for estimating unknown parameters in dermatology by (1) estimating the prevalence of psoriasis in the adult population, and (2) estimating previously unknown disease severity distribution. METHODS: An expert panel of 11 Canadian dermatologists with demonstrated expertise in psoriasis was formed. A proof-of-concept EE exercise estimated psoriasis prevalence in the general population in Canada, followed by estimation of psoriasis disease severity distribution by body surface area (BSA). Expert estimates were consolidated using Bayesian methods to statistically model the data and represent uncertainty. RESULTS: The median prevalence of psoriasis in the adult population using the Bayesian estimate was 3.0% (95% credibility interval, 2.7-3.3%), compared with the estimated mean prevalence of 3.4% (95% confidence interval, 2.2-4.9%). By EE, the estimated cumulative distribution of disease severity assessed by BSA suggests that approximately 50% of patients have a BSA of < 3% and 78% of patients have a BSA of < 10%, with only 2% having a BSA of > 50%. CONCLUSION: The EE approach resulted in prevalence estimates that had a narrow distribution and were consistent with published literature, supporting its value in dermatology as a complementary method to help guide decision-making in areas where evidence is scarce or uncertain.


  • Papp, Kim A
  • Gniadecki, Robert
  • Beecker, Jennifer
  • Dutz, Jan
  • Gooderham, Melinda J
  • Hong, Chih-Ho
  • Kirchhof, Mark G
  • Lynde, Chuck W
  • Maari, Catherine
  • Poulin, Yves
  • Vender, Ronald

publication date

  • June 2021