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Driving better health outcomes in psoriasis

Introducing touch, an award winning patient support programme

Published: 08 Apr 2013

Client: LEO Pharma UK

Agency: Atlantis Healthcare

Campaign: touch patient support programme

Timescale: Launched in April 2011 - on-going

A quick look

Approximately 1.2 million UK residents have psoriasis, a chronic skin condition, found to cause low self-esteem, depression and social isolation. Adherence to treatment is a common challenge - 40% of patients do not use their topical treatment as prescribed.

‘touch’,  an award winning support programme run by Atlantis Healthcare and sponsored by LEO Pharma, is designed to improve patient outcomes by enabling behaviour change. Powered by health psychology specialists, dermatologists and nurses, its content addresses members’ individual unhelpful beliefs about their treatment and condition, to improve adherence and self-management.


New research has revealed that day to day life for people with psoriasis is often impacted by an increased risk of clinically diagnosed depression and anxiety.  Low levels of perceived control over psoriasis drove these issues. Many people were also found to have low expectations regarding their treatment’s efficacy, particularly in the long term. Patients were also frustrated by apparent treatment “failure”, plus the burden of daily application and challenges around remembering to use treatment. 


Atlantis Healthcare and LEO Pharma developed the “touch” programme with health psychologists, dermatologists and patients. The initial research revealed that beliefs about treatment necessity, and concerns about efficacy were the key predictors of non-adherence. Engaging content was developed using behaviour change techniques to address these unhelpful beliefs and help patients regain a sense of control. 

Everyone with psoriasis aged over 18 in the UK (and their carers) can join and receive a comprehensive support solution, including a secure and engaging web experience with personalised content, valuable resources, interventional emails, and access to a nurse call centre. 

Launched in April 2011, touch currently supports over 8,000 people - membership grows weekly.


At 4-6 months, a small sample of members was surveyed. Results showed the number of members holding unhelpful beliefs about the necessity and efficacy of their treatment (key predictors of non-adherence) was significantly reduced and the number of patients at high risk of forgetting their treatment was also reduced.

Furthermore, 74% of enrolled patients found the touch programme to be very supportive.

What enrolled members have to say about touch: 

“Psoriasis can be a lonely business. It’s good to have support which really understands what you are feeling during the journey of living with psoriasis. touch is particularly helpful as it offers a range of communications to appeal to different needs and personal preferences providing the right amount of practical support just when you need it.”

- Aimee Senior, 19yrs, Huddersfield

Client verdict

“It’s been a pleasure working with Atlantis on the ‘touch’ programme. After extensive research conducted by their health psychology team, a bespoke programme was developed to address the unmet needs of our psoriasis patients. The programme has been positively rated by enrolled patients, but also more widely recognised at the Pharmaceutical Market Excellence Awards (PMEA) where the programme won for Excellence in Provision of Patient Services and was highly commended for Excellence in Patient Focus.”

- Steven Clifford, Product Manager, LEO Pharma

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