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Papers on COVID-19 in Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis Carry Risk for Bias

Risk for bias high in papers relating to patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis receiving biologic therapies

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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Published papers addressing the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis receiving biologic therapies have a high risk for bias, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Stephano Piaserico, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Padua in Italy, and colleagues analyzed the quality of papers addressing the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis receiving biologic therapies. The quality of 25 published studies was estimated using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS).

The researchers found that the median NOS score was 47 and 44 percent for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, respectively, indicating a high risk for bias. Of the psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis studies, 37 and 44 percent, respectively, included patients with suspected COVID-19 without a positive swab. None of the studies provided a calculation of formal sample size.

"Our study is not intended as a criticism to the authors or the journals that published their research," Piaserico said in a statement. "Rather, it is a reminder to be careful when reading new COVID-19 papers. During a pandemic, health care providers should be more cautious when incorporating evidence from new studies into personal decision making."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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