Diagnostic tools used for melanoma: A survey of Australian general practitioners and dermatologists

The incidence of cutaneous malignant melanoma continues to rise globally with Australia having the highest incidence in the world. To assist GPs and dermatologists in the early diagnosis of melanoma, diagnostic tools including dermoscopy, sequential digital dermoscopy imaging (SDDI), total body photography (TBP) and automated diagnostic tools have been used. The use, accessibility and barriers of dermoscopy have been well studied; however, there are few similar studies regarding SDDI, TBP and automated diagnostic tools. This study aimed to understand the use of these diagnostic aids amongst Australian general practitioners (GPs) and dermatologists. They conducted online surveys with 175 GPs and 52 dermatologists. Dermoscopy, SDDI and TBP were commonly used by Australian skin cancer GPs and dermatologists. Automated diagnostic tools were not reported to be used routinely. The most common barriers to the use of TBP were cost, limited accessibility, poor patient compliance, and time required for both patients and doctors. This study adds to the current literature on the use of dermoscopy, SDDI, TBP and automated diagnostics tools amongst GPs and dermatologists, and also provides some insights into preferences for management of difficult skin lesions by GPs.

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