The willingness to be educated is one of the highest desires among patients with psoriasis. Therefore, a collaborative model of management would appear to be essential in enhancing patient satisfaction in this challenging condition. The present study aimed at examining the applicability of a mobile teledermatology service in this regard and assessing the association between patient acceptance and perceived health-related quality of life.
High-need patients with psoriasis performed visits over 12 weeks transmitting clinical images together with some relevant clinical information via mobile phones to teledermatologists, who provided treatment instructions. Ten patients and two teledermatologists completed 20-item patient (weeks 6 and 12) and 10-item physician (at week 12) acceptance questionnaires. In addition, patients answered the dermatology life quality index (DLQI) at weeks 0, 6 and 12.
Both patients and teledermatologists were pleased with the service with high acceptance rates (patients: 81.0% at week 6 and 82.9% at week 12; teledermatologists: 74.0%). In addition, 80% of the patients considered the service an alternative to in-person consultation and 90% felt they were in good hands but had achieved a more flexible and empowered lifestyle. No significant correlations were found between patient acceptance and DLQI. Both teledermatologists found the service a convenient and reliable tool for patient monitoring. Neither patients nor teledermatologists thought further in-person consultations necessary.
Mobile teledermatology is a valuable tool for the home monitoring of patients with psoriasis that makes a meaningful difference in their lives. It is well accepted by both patients and the physicians involved.
Australas J Dermal. 2012; 53(1):41-46 ©2012 The Authors. Australasian Journal of Dermatology © 2012 The Australasian College of Dermatologists.