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Dermatology Online Journal

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Comparing acne follow-up: teledermatology versus outpatient dermatology visits

  • Author(s): Khosravi, Hasan
  • Zhang, Sophia
  • Siripong, Nalyn
  • Moorhead, Autumn
  • English III, Joseph C
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

The application of teledermatology for evaluating acne patients has yielded comparable therapeutic outcomes with traditional face-to-face evaluation, but follow-up compliance between these modalities is not well-studied. Our objective is to compare the rate and duration of follow-up between acne patients initially evaluated by teledermatology versus in-person outpatient consultation. Electronic medical review of acne patients, 18-35 years-old seen via teledermatology and face-to-face evaluation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center between 2010-2018 was performed. Teledermatology patients were less likely to follow-up in the first 90 days (13.0% versus 31.0%, P<0.001) compared to patients seen face-to-face with overall follow-up rates of 22% among both modalities. The median time to follow-up was 45.5 days (IQR: 13/57) in the teledermatology group compared to 64 days (IQR: 56/77) in the face-to-face group (P<0.001). Teledermatology patients were more likely to be treated with oral antibiotics (43.0% versus 28.5%) or oral spironolactone (18.5% versus 12.5%) compared to patients seen face-to-face (P<0.001). Teledermatology poses a promising solution to extend dermatologic care with earlier access to follow-up. Our data demonstrates a need to improve teledermatology follow-up education to improve follow-up care.

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