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PubMed RSS Feed - -The journey of patients with skin diseases from the first consultation to the diagnosis in a representative sample of the European general population from the EADV burden of skin diseases study


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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2023 Oct;37 Suppl 7:17-24. doi: 10.1111/jdv.18916.


BACKGROUND: The journey of patients with skin diseases through healthcare has been scarcely investigated.

OBJECTIVE: To analyse the journey of people with skin diseases in the different healthcare environment in Europe.

METHODS: This multinational, cross-sectional, European study was conducted on a representative sample of the adult general population of 27 European countries. The prevalence of the most frequent skin diseases was determined. Information was collected on the patient journey from the first medical consultation to the diagnosis, and the reasons for not consulting a healthcare professional.

RESULTS: On a total of 44,689 individuals, 30.3% reported to have consulted a dermatologist during the previous 2 years. Participants consulted mainly for mole control or skin cancer screening (22.3%), followed by chronic skin diseases (16.2%). The diagnoses of acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and rosacea were made most frequently by a dermatologist, while fungal skin infections were diagnosed more often by a general practitioner (GP), and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) by other specialists. The diagnosis was not always definitive at the first consultation, in particular for STD. The percentage of people who did not consult a healthcare professional for their skin disease was particularly high for acne (36.4%), alopecia (44.7%) and fungal infection (30.0%). Moreover, 17.7% of respondents with psoriasis did not consult. A high percentage of participants with alopecia thought that the disease was not worrying, while patients with psoriasis often answered that they were able to manage the disease since they had already consulted a doctor. Many patients with acne (41.1%) and fungal infection (48.2%) thought that they were able to handle the disease by themselves.

CONCLUSION: The analysis of the self-reported medical journey of patients with common skin diseases may allow to understand the unmet needs of patients, thus improving outcomes and reducing expenses.

PMID:37806003 | DOI:10.1111/jdv.18916

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