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Skin of colour in dermatology images:  Would you like to give your views?

Skin Of Colour Psoriasis And Psoriatic Arthritis

A 4th Year Medical Student at Cardiff University, and with his supervisor is currently working on a project titled Medical Photographs: Patient perceptions of medical photography of dermatological conditions. This project has obtained ethical approval from Cardiff University School Research Ethics Committee. 

Dermatology is a visual specialty, and images of dermatological conditions are important in the education of future clinicians in the specialty. The majority of images of dermatological conditions in major UK textbooks are of Caucasian patients resulting in an incomplete picture of dermatological conditions in various skin tones, as brought to the attention of many by a recent petition.  

This pilot study is an attempt to understand some of the patient factors behind the reasons for inadequate representation of patients of skin of colour in dermatology images. In addition, they would also like to determine if there are any other factors that influence a patient’s consent to medical photographs of their dermatological conditions. Therefore, the aim of the study is to determine if patient demographics influence perception of medical photography of dermatological conditions.

The study contains a short questionnaire made up of 4 headings, including questions asking participants: information regarding their sex, age, ethnicity, information relating to socio-economic status, and religion; and their opinions on medical images being taken of their dermatological conditions in different scenarios.

These questions will be asked to find out if these different factors influence patients’ perceptions on consenting for medical photographs being taken of their dermatological conditions, or if it influences whether health care professionals will request consent from patients. 

The questionnaire will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. The questionnaire will be completed online, and the link can be found here  with the participant information sheet attached providing further details about the study.