Participants were often not confident in their skin self-examination ability but value expert opinion from clinicians and are open to using technologies that help track skin lesions, according to a qualitative study from researchers at the University of Sydney.
The study used semi-structured interviews that took place from June to December 2016 among 37 participants (11 women; median age, 67 years) who were previously treated for a first primary localized melanoma during 2014 and did not have a recurrence or new primary melanoma since treatment.
Participants were queried on their experience and views on skin self-examination, who helps them in the process and the perceived importance of self-examination, in addition to other topics related to the significance of technology to aid in dermoscopy.
Participants did not report undergoing full-body skin self-examinations on a regular basis, according to the researchers.
Most participants did not have a detailed and specific set routine, although some described the general steps they used.
Some reported feeling confident in undertaking skin self-examination, while others were not.
The primary means of melanoma detection were through clinician consultations, and participants expressed positive feedback about the routinely scheduled follow-up visits they attended.
Patients often did not have total confidence in the ability to self-examine their skin, according to the study.
Many participants had a strong preference for medical professionals conducting all skin examinations.
Prior to the interviews, participants were sent a pictorial illustration of how the Achieving Self-directed Integrated Cancer Aftercare (ASICA) app is used to support skin self-examination, and they were also emailed two videos on patient-performed mobile teledermoscopy.
Participants responded positively to using technologies to help with self-examination, specifically in identifying and keeping track of changes in lesions over time, the researchers wrote.
“Efforts to test the effectiveness and safety of these new technologies in improving skin self-examination practices and promoting patient-led surveillance are warranted,” Mbathio Dieng, PhD, of the National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney, and colleagues wrote. – by Abigail Sutton
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.