Low rate of dermatology outpatient visits in Asian-Americans: an initial survey study for associated patient-related factors
Department of Dermatology, Stanford University, Pavilion C, 2nd Floor, 450 Broadway St, Redwood City 94063, CA, USA
BMC Dermatology 2014, 14:13 doi:10.1186/1471-5945-14-13Published: 2 August 2014
Asian-Americans represent the fastest growing minority group in the United States, but are under-represented patients in outpatient dermatology clinics. At the same time, skin cancer rates in individuals of Asian descent are increasing, but skin cancer detection appears to be delayed in Asian-Americans compared to white individuals. Some health-care provider related factors for this phenomenon have been reported in the literature, but the patient-related factors are unclear.
This exploratory study to identify patient-related factors associated with dermatology visits in Asian-Americans was performed after Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. An anonymous, online survey utilizing validated items was conducted on adults who self-identified as Asian-American in Northern California. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression for dermatology visits as indicated by responses to the question of “ever having had skin checked by a dermatologist” were performed on survey responses pertaining to demographic information, socioeconomic factors, acculturation, knowledge of melanoma warning signs and SSE belief and practice.
89.7% of individuals who opened the online survey completed the items, with 469 surveys included in the analysis. Only 60% reported ever performing a SSE, and only 48% reported ever having a skin examination by a dermatologist. Multivariate models showed that “ever performing SSE” (p < 0.0001), marital status (p = 0.02), family history of skin cancer (p = 0.03) and generation in the United States (p = 0.02) were significant predictors of the primary outcome of “ever had skin checked by a dermatologist”.
Identification of patient-related factors that associate with dermatology clinic visits in Asian-Americans is important so that this potential gap in dermatologic care can be better addressed through future studies.