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Research Letter
September 2016

Patient Preferences During Skin Cancer Screening Examination

Author Affiliations
  • 1School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Department of Dermatology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • 3Division of Dermatology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina
  • 4Department of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(9):1052-1054. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.1005

Although skin cancer screening through total-body skin examination (TBSE) may reduce morbidity or mortality from skin cancer, one potential harm of screening is that the nature of this examination may cause patient embarrassment. Among female patients undergoing colonoscopy and pelvic examinations there is a strong preference for a female physician.1,2 To our knowledge, the influence of physician sex on patient attitudes toward skin cancer screening has not been studied in a nonveteran population.3,4

Using an anonymous, cross-sectional survey (determined to be exempt from full board review by the institutional review boards of the University of Pittsburgh, University of Utah, and East Carolina University), adults (≥18 years) undergoing a TBSE at these 3 institutions were surveyed to determine their preferences of screening clinician’s sex and degree of disrobement during TBSE. Univariate significance was tested using the t test or the χ2 test.