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February 1, 2008

Educating Adolescents About Acne Vulgaris: A Comparison of Written Handouts With Audiovisual Computerized Presentations

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (Dr Ryder), Yale–New Haven Hospital–General Clinical Research Center (Dr Dziura), Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center (Dr Njike), and Department of Dermatology and Pediatrics (Dr Antaya), Yale University School of Medicine (Dr Koch), New Haven, Connecticut. Dr Koch is now with the Department of Internal Medicine at Hospital of Saint Raphael, New Haven.

Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(2):208-214. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2007.35

Objective  To compare the efficacy of written handouts with that of audiovisual computerized presentations in educating adolescents about acne vulgaris.

Design  Randomized study.

Setting  A private dermatology office or 1 of 3 general pediatric clinics in New Haven.

Participants  One hundred one adolescent patients, aged 13 to 17 years.

Intervention  All participants completed a brief enrollment questionnaire to gauge baseline knowledge of acne vulgaris. Subjects were then randomized to either receive a written handout or watch an audiovisual computerized presentation. Immediately following the intervention, and again at 1 month, patients were asked to complete identical questionnaires to assess change in knowledge.

Main Outcome Measures  Change in knowledge about acne vulgaris, as indicated by performance on preintervention, postintervention, and 1-month follow-up questionnaires.

Results  Baseline questionnaires were completed by 21 patients in the pilot study and 80 patients in the revised study; 17 (81%) and 77 (96%) completed the respective studies. In both the pilot ( = .64) and revised ( = .63) studies, there was no significant difference between intervention groups in terms of baseline knowledge or gain in knowledge. Immediately postintervention, both groups showed significant improvement from baseline (P < .001 in the revised study and P < .01 in the pilot study). At the 1-month follow-up, patients in the pilot study randomized to receive the computerized presentation still showed significant gain in knowledge from baseline (P < .05), while those in the handout group did not. Meanwhile, both intervention groups in the revised study continued to show significant gain in knowledge from baseline at 1 month (P < .001).

Conclusion  Both written handouts and audiovisual computerized presentations about acne vulgaris confer significant and equivalent benefits in terms of short- and long-term knowledge gains among adolescent patients with acne.