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Practice Gaps |

Importance of Providing Adequate Patient Information to Ensure Good Adherence and Outcomes:  Comment on “Efficacy of an Educational Intervention With Kidney Transplant Recipients to Promote Skin Self-examination for Squamous Cell Carcinoma Detection”

Michelle M. Levender, MD; Steven R. Feldman, MD, PhD
Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(6):695-696. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.123.
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Robinson et al1 identify an important practice gap in their randomized controlled trial examining the effect of an education intervention on adherence to skin self-examination (SSE) guidelines among kidney transplant recipients. Patients who received the education intervention were more likely to comply with SSE recommendations and to see a dermatologist for a suspicious lesion than those in the control group. Robinson et al1 explain that in failing to provide adequate information to patients on skin cancer risk and in advising dermatology care without providing a context, health care providers are creating a “disconnect” for patients. Focus groups revealed that although patients were hearing the message that they should see a dermatologist, they were baffled by these recommendations, thinking they had no need to seek dermatologic care. This study highlights the importance of providing adequate patient information, information that explains the reasoning for the recommendations, and the current gap between ideal and actual patient education practices.

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