Images spur skin self-exams

August 13, 2013

Photographs of skin cancers caused patients to be more likely to conduct skin self-examinations, according to results of a recent study.

 

Photographs of skin cancers caused patients to be more likely to conduct skin self-examinations, according to results of a recent study.

Using seven databases, researchers with the School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Ontario, found 25 studies to analyze the effectiveness of interventions or educational aids that utilize visual images to promote skin self-exams, according to the abstract.

Images of skin cancers motivated patients to perform skin self-exams and also increased the accuracy of these exams, as well as melanoma detection.

“Visual images capture our attention and are persuasive,” Laurie Hoffman-Goetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., faculty of applied sciences and study co-author, said in a news release. “Incorporating images into clinical practice when educating patients can be a powerful tool in the fight against skin cancer.”

One of the limitations of the study was a lack of image description in the studies.

The findings were published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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