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Arch Dermatol. 2004 Jun;140(6):730-5.

Validity of patient self-reported history of skin cancer.

Author information

  • 1Departments of Dermatology and Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104, USA. mmingmd@yahoo.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the validity of patient self-report of skin cancer history.

DESIGN:

A cohort of patients was randomly selected from the case group in a prior case-control study involving skin cancer, and a second cohort was randomly selected from the controls of that study. Patient self-reported history (as determined by responses to a survey) was compared with the gold standard of chart documentation of a pathology report or a procedure note from Mohs micrographic surgery demonstrating skin cancer.

SETTING:

University-based outpatient dermatology clinic.

PATIENTS:

Three hundred patients were selected.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Patients were considered to have correctly classified their skin cancer history if their self-reported history was consistent with chart documentation.

RESULTS:

We obtained chart information for 258 patients.Of those patients, 183 (70.9%) had chart documentation of nonmelanoma skin cancer, and 16 (6.2%) had chart documentation of a melanoma. Using chart documentation as the gold standard, we found that patients correctly identified their basal cell carcinoma status in 84.3% of cases; their squamous cell carcinoma status in 81.5% of cases; their overall nonmelanoma skin cancer status in 91.8% of cases; their melanoma status in 94.8% of cases; and their overall skin cancer status in 92.6% of cases. Patients' self-reported history of skin cancer of any type had a positive predictive value of 95.1% and a negative predictive value of 85.9%.

CONCLUSIONS:

Self-reported history of skin cancer had a high degree of sensitivity and specificity and a high positive and negative predictive value within the study population. Obtaining medical information by patient report appears to be a useful tool for determining medical history of skin cancer.

PMID:
15210466
DOI:
10.1001/archderm.140.6.730
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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