Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Online course improves physicians skill level for detecting skin cancer

Date:
November 7, 2013
Source:
Henry Ford Health System
Summary:
Primary care physicians who took an online training course about skin cancer detection significantly improved their skill to properly diagnose and manage benign and malignant lesions, according to an American national study. The physicians’ enhanced skill level also led to a reduction in unnecessary referrals to dermatology specialists.

Primary care physicians who took an online training course about skin cancer detection significantly improved their skill to properly diagnose and manage benign and malignant lesions, according to a national study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The physicians' enhanced skill level also led to a reduction in unnecessary referrals to dermatology specialists.

The INFORMED study is believed to be the first of its kind to track physician practice patterns as an outcome of a skin cancer detection training course. INFORMED stands for INternet curriculum FOR Melanoma Early Detection.

Key findings of 54 physicians who took the course: • Scores for diagnosing and managing all skin cancer lesions increased 10 percent. • Scores for diagnosing benign lesions increased 14 percent. • Patient referrals for suspicious lesions or new visits to a dermatology specialist declined as the result of improved detection by primary care physicians. • Physicians still retained their improved skill level six months later.

The findings are published online in the November/December issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine at http://www.jabfm.org/content/26/6/648.full

"We all know the demands on a physician's time. But this online course shows that we can empower primary care physicians to know when they themselves can take care of some of these patients and have the confidence in doing so, and not drive up the cost of utilization with unnecessary referrals to a dermatologist," says Melody Eide, M.D., a Henry Ford dermatologist and the study's lead author.

Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers has increased by nearly 77 percent between 1992 and 2006. Meanwhile, incidence rates of melanoma -- the most serious form of skin cancer -- have been increasing for at least 30 years. It is estimated that one in 50 Americans will develop melanoma by 2015.

Given these disconcerting trends, researchers sought to evaluate whether primary care physicians (PCP) could diagnose skin cancer if provided targeted, specific education. PCPs, after all, see more patients than any other physician group. Fewer than 30 percent of primary care residents receive training for performing a skin examination during their medical training.

"Improving PCPs skills at diagnosing and managing skin lesions is an important way to improve patient care because patients frequently bring skin complaints to their family doctor," Dr. Eide says.

The web-based course www.skinsight.com/info/for_professionals/skin-cancer-detection-informed/skin-cancer-education covered the three most common skin cancers -- basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, and featured 450 clinical images of lesions. The participants chose from two web options -- traditional textbook format and case-based format, which took about two to three hours to complete. The case-based format featured nine case studies with interactive self-assessment tests and immediate feedback.

Before taking the course in 2011, participants took a pretest of 25 images of skin lesions in which they had to choose a diagnosis and course of action -- reassure or refer. Participants were assessed a post-test immediately after completing the course, then repeated six months later.

"Their post-test scores were much higher than their pre-test scores," Dr. Eide says. "The scores suggest that prior to taking the course, the participants had the most difficulty distinguishing between benign and malignant skin lesions. But taking the course improved their ability to do so."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Henry Ford Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. J. Eide, M. M. Asgari, S. W. Fletcher, A. C. Geller, A. C. Halpern, W. R. Shaikh, L. Li, G. L. Alexander, A. Altschuler, S. W. Dusza, A. A. Marghoob, E. A. Quigley, M. A. Weinstock. Effects on Skills and Practice from a Web-Based Skin Cancer Course for Primary Care Providers. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 2013; 26 (6): 648 DOI: 10.3122/jabfm.2013.06.130108

Cite This Page:

Henry Ford Health System. "Online course improves physicians skill level for detecting skin cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107122845.htm>.
Henry Ford Health System. (2013, November 7). Online course improves physicians skill level for detecting skin cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107122845.htm
Henry Ford Health System. "Online course improves physicians skill level for detecting skin cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107122845.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins