Highlights from

AAD 2021

American Academy of Dermatology Virtual Meeting Experience 2021

Virtual 23-25 April 2021

The impact of COVID-19 on the willingness to seek in-person dermatologic care

Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic has made seeking out healthcare more complicated than ever. Patients' willingness to seek treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic may be changing rapidly and does not appear to be largely affected by the limiting circumstances. Patients are more likely to seek in-patient care for stigma-related conditions such as herpes labialis.

In-person healthcare has been limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its impact on patients' willingness to seek care has not been thoroughly studied. Understanding how a pandemic may influence patient motivation to consult a dermatologist may facilitate efficient allocation of healthcare providers.

In the current study, a total of 416 patients were recruited through a web-based survey platform called Amazon Mechanical Turk. Most of them were white (68%) and female (55%). The mean age was 36.8 years. Subjects were randomised to one of 14 groups based on a hypothetical health scenario that is associated with stigma, including scalp psoriasis, herpes labialis, acne vulgaris, rosacea, tinea faciei, melanoma, or a benign nevus. Subjects rated their willingness to schedule an in-person dermatology appointment on a 5-point Likert scale.

Patients reported a higher willingness score during the pandemic for herpes labialis, tinea faciei, and melanoma, compared with pre-COVID-19. Although the analysis did not control for subject familiarity with each skin condition, patients reported a higher willingness to seek in-person evaluation for conditions associated with stronger social stigmas.

  1. Ghamrawi et al. Impact of COVID-19 on patient willingness to seek in-person. Poster 26452. AAD VMX 2021, 23-25 April 2021.

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