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Open Access Image Training, Using Random Images of Melanoma, Performs as Well as the ABC(D) Criteria in Enabling Novices to Distinguish Between Melanoma and Mimics of Melanoma

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Robust experimental evidence supporting many attempts to facilitate early melanoma diagnosis is lacking. In an experimental study using a browser interface we have examined diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of novices in distinguishing between melanomas and mimics of melanoma. We show that rule-based ABC methods and image training, based on random images of melanoma, improve specificity to similar degrees, without effects on sensitivity, leading to small improvements in overall accuracy. There was a significant effect of age with older subjects performing better. Although both the ABC method and image training groups showed improved performance over the control group, overall performance was poor. For instance, for a task in which 1 in 4 test images was a melanoma, and 3 out of 4 benign, both interventions (ABC or image training) increased accuracy from the control value of 53% to around 61%. For reference, dermatology trainees performed at a much higher level of accuracy. Our study provides little support for the use of such methods in public education, but suggests ways in which performance might be improved.

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Keywords: ABCD; DIAGNOSIS; IMAGE TRAINING; MELANOMA; SKIN CANCER

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Acta Dermato-Venereologica is a bi-monthly international peer-reviewed journal for clinical and experimental research in the field of dermatology and venereology.

    It was founded in 1920 by Johan Almqvist and edited during 1936-1969 by Sven Hellerström. Since 1970, the journal has been published for the Society for the Publication of Acta Dermato-Venereologica on a non-profit basis.

    Acta Dermato-Venereologica publishes high-quality manuscripts in English dealing with new observations on basic dermatological and venereological research, as well as clinical investigations. Each volume also features a number of review articles in special areas, as well as short Letters to the Editor to stimulate debate and to disseminate important clinical observations. Acta Dermato-Venereologica has rapid publication times and is amply illustrated with a large number of colour photographs to enhance understanding.

    Acta Dermato-Venereologica covers inter alia:

    • ~ Atopic dermatitis and contact allergy
    • ~ Facial dermatoses and adnexal disorders
    • ~ New treatments
    • ~ Psoriasis and genodermatoses
    • ~ Psychodermatology
    • ~ Sexually transmitted diseases
    • ~ Skin biology and inflammation
    • ~ Skin cancer and pigmentation
    • ~ Skin immunology and lymphoma
    • ~ Urticaria and itch

    Extensive papers, proceedings from congresses and symposia are printed as supplements to the journal. Announcements concerning pertinent dermatological meetings and books received are also published.
    Readership: Doctors and scientists interested in dermatology, skin biology and venereology.

    Acta Dermato-Venereologica has an impact factor of 3.007.

    Issues between 1998 up to 2005 can be found at http://www.medicaljournals.se/acta/content

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