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Compliance with serial dermoscopic monitoring: An academic perspective

Published:September 21, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2016.07.012

      Background

      For even seasoned practitioners, early melanomas can be difficult to distinguish from melanocytic nevi. Although serial digital dermoscopy is considered by many to be the gold standard for monitoring patients at high risk, poor compliance can seriously alter efficacy. In 2014, a concerning compliance rate of 25% was reported from a single, private clinic. Information is currently limited regarding the determinants of compliance and whether patients at high risk return at an acceptable rate.

      Objective

      We sought to determine the compliance rate within the pigmented lesions clinic at our academic institution and identify demographic variables that may influence adherence.

      Methods

      A retrospective review was conducted using 120 patient charts.

      Results

      An overall compliance rate of 87.5% was observed with 63.3% of patients returning within 1 month of the recommended interval. The most notable risk factor for noncompliance was patient age between 20 and 29 years. Factors promoting adherence include a personal history of melanoma, greater than 5 serially monitored nevi, and a personal history of atypical nevi.

      Limitations

      The external validity is limited and the sample size is small.

      Conclusion

      These findings contradict concerns that adherence to serial monitoring is unacceptably poor and demonstrate that compliance is highest for patients with the greatest inherent risk.

      Key words

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