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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013 Jul;69(1):47-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2013.01.031. Epub 2013 Mar 6.

Visual images for patient skin self-examination and melanoma detection: a systematic review of published studies.

Author information

1
School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Early detection of skin cancer by patients is an important strategy for reducing morbidity and mortality caused by melanoma. However, the effectiveness of interventions or educational aids that use visual images to promote skin self-examination (SSE) and early melanoma detection has not been systematically investigated.

OBJECTIVE:

We undertook a systematic review of peer-reviewed research on SSE for skin cancer to examine the outcomes of studies that used visual images as part of their methodology. Our objective was to describe the impact of visual images on patient SSE knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and accuracy.

METHODS:

Seven databases were searched resulting in 5330 citations. A total of 25 studies met the inclusion criteria.

RESULTS:

Images positively affected knowledge and self-efficacy related to SSE. Images motivated the performance of SSE and increased the accuracy of SSE and melanoma detection. The types of visual images that were effective are described and the implications are discussed.

LIMITATIONS:

Articles not uncovered by the search strategy may have been unintentionally excluded. Lack of image description in the studies made specific recommendations challenging.

CONCLUSION:

The use of visual images to promote accurate and frequent SSE is encouraged.

PMID:
23474227
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaad.2013.01.031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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