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Survey Results Demonstrate Growing Role of NPs in Treatment of Acne | NEWS-Line for Healthcare Professionals

Survey Results Demonstrate Growing Role of NPs in Treatment of Acne


Ortho Dermatologics announced new survey results showing nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) play a growing role in healthcare, specifically in treating acne, the most common skin disorder in the United States. With NPs and PAs saying they see more acne patients than ever before, including both teens and adults, NPs and PAs will be a critical force in helping patients manage the physical, emotional and social aspects of acne.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Retin-A Micro Pump was among 102 NPs and 100 PAs who treat patients with acne under the guidance of a dermatologist.

“According to the survey results, NPs and PAs spend on average 20 minutes with each patient per visit,” said Diane Hanna, MSN, ARNP-c, University of Kansas, Doctoral Student and Director of Clinical Research, Modern Dermatology. “This is an ideal opportunity for NPs and PAs to initiate and foster conversations with their patients about acne and determine an efficient and effective treatment plan to improve their patients’ skin. I also think it is critical to use this time to address the significant emotional impact acne may have on their lives.”

These new survey results also reinforce findings from the 2008 Skin Matters Survey, a landmark examination of Americans’ attitudes and feelings surrounding acne and the effect it can have on people of all ages. Teenage and adult patients alike share the multidimensional impacts of acne, which extend beyond just physical, to emotional and social influences. In fact, about nine in 10 NPs (96%) and PAs (90%) agree acne negatively affects the quality of people’s lives.

For example, three out of four NPs and PAs believe people with acne are treated differently in society, and the majority (87%) believe their patients experience psychosocial issues as a result of acne. In fact, approximately four out of five (81%) say their patients frequently experience anxiety (66%), anger (41%) or depression (64%). However, nearly all respondents, 96%, agree that treatment can improve acne and the quality of people’s lives.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), nearly every case of acne to some extent can be treated. In fact, more than 80% of NPs and PAs (84%) think acne treatment options have improved considerably over the past five years, and the majority (67%) takes an active role in suggesting treatment options. However, both NPs and PAs report that their acne patients, on average, try about five to six over-the-counter remedies and spend $96 to $116 on their own before seeking treatment from a healthcare professional.

While the great majority of NPs (77%) and PAs (76%) are satisfied with prescription acne treatments, majorities say roadblocks such as patient compliance continue to be significant barriers in providing successful treatment. The NPs and PAs unanimously agreed that patients do not follow treatment recommendations exactly as prescribed. More than nine in ten NPs and PAs (92%) say their patients stop treatment if they do not see improvements right away.

Furthermore, many NPs and PAs say their patients often incorrectly spot treat (49%), use inconsistent or inaccurate doses (30%), or apply medication at the wrong time (16%).

However, products like tretinoin, the number one prescribed retinoid for the treatment of acne, have proven to be highly effective over many years, and delivery systems, such as the Retin-A Micro Pump, have evolved to increase treatment compliance.

Retin-A Micro Pump was specifically designed to increase compliance in patients through the use of microspheres and the pump delivery method. Microsphere technology slowly releases tretinoin in increments, reducing the irritation commonly seen with other tretinoin formulas. The survey found that the majority of NPs (63%) and PAs (56%) believe new vehicles and/or delivery systems for products offer significant improvements in acne treatments. The pump helps to ensure the proper amount of treatment is dispensed, reducing the chance of irritation that comes from using too much medication.

“The survey results underscore the importance of prescription-strength, easy-to-apply treatments for acne patients,” said Robert Higham, MPAS, PA-C, Past President, Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants. “NPs and PAs should work closely with their patients to find the most appropriate treatment and maintain compliance, a major step forward in ensuring the successful treatment of patients with acne.”

This Acne Survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Retin-A Micro Pump between July 6 and July 20, 2009 among 202 US healthcare professionals including 102 US nurse practitioners and 100 US physician assistants, ages 18+ who treat acne and work in one of the following types of offices: family practice, primary care, OB/GYN, pediatric, internal medicine or dermatology. Nurse practitioner and physician assistant data were weighted separately to be reflective of their respective populations; in the total sample, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are distributed equally, which is not necessarily reflective of the actual population. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

Ortho Dermatologics is based in Los Angeles, CA and is a division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Experts in medical dermatological and aesthetic products, Ortho Dermatologics offers a complete line of proven anti-aging, anti-acne, anti-fungal, post-procedure care and specialty aesthetic brands that work to restore health and beauty to the skin. Ortho Dermatologics brands include prescription Retin-A Micro, ERTACZO, RENOVA and BIAFINE. For more information, visit www.orthodermatologics.com.

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