Patient Satisfaction and Expectations Regarding Mobile Teledermoscopy in General Practice for Diagnosis of Non-melanoma Skin Cancer and Malignant Melanoma
Sofie Gilling, Charlotte G. Mortz, Tine Vestergaard
The incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer and malignant melanoma is increasing. Diagnosing these skin lesions is primarily done visually, making it suitable to use new technology, such as teledermoscopy. Before the implementation of teledermoscopy, patient satisfaction, clinician satisfaction and diagnostic accuracy, need to be evaluated. A cross-sectional quantitative survey was conducted to evaluate patient satisfaction and expectations regarding a mobile teledermoscopy service, and to identify factors influencing patient satisfaction and choice of diagnostic method. A total of 287 out of 476 participants responded to the questionnaire. Almost 90% of respondents were satisfied with, or neutral towards, teledermoscopy. No associations between patient satisfaction and age, smartphone/tablet usage, travel time, prior history of non-melanoma skin cancer and malignant melanoma, or worries about malignancy, were found. There was equal distribution between patients who preferred teledermoscopy and those who preferred face-to-face consultation. Respondents with a high level of smartphone usage significantly preferred teledermoscopy.
Mobile teledermoscopy enables enlarged photographs of suspicious skin changes to be taken in general practice and sent for evaluation by a specialist. Patient satisfaction and expectations regarding this new diagnostic method need to be evaluated before implementation. Almost 90% of respondents in this study were satisfied with, or neutral towards, mobile teledermoscopy. Respondents equally preferred mobile teledermoscopy or seeing the dermatologist face-to-face, but mobile teledermoscopy was preferred among respondents with a high level of smartphone usage. There is an increasing incidence of skin cancer and melanoma, which calls for alternative ways to diagnose these diseases. Patient satisfaction with teledermoscopy will make implementation more successful.