The Ability of Patients to Provide Standardized, Patient-Taken Photographs for the Remote Assessment of Dupuytren Disease

Hand (N Y). 2021 Apr 15;15589447211006834. doi: 10.1177/15589447211006834. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: Clinical goniometry for the assessment of contracture in Dupuytren disease is time-consuming and costly, and there is no universal method for evaluating the severity of the disease. This study aims to evaluate the feasibility of patient-taken photography for the remote assessment of Dupuytren disease.

Methods: Patients at our unit were provided with instructions on how to take standardized photographs of their diseased hand(s), which were subsequently analyzed by computer software to obtain formal measurements of the severity of disease. Compliance with photography instructions and ability to provide a photo of sufficient quality for analysis were measured.

Results: In all, 222 patients supplied photos for analysis; 158 patients (71.2%) were able to take the photographs as instructed. The remaining 28.8% took 1 or more of the images incorrectly or of insufficient quality. There were no statistically significant differences between those able to take the photos as directly versus those who took the photos incorrectly when compared by sex, age, or severity of disease.

Conclusions: Patient-taken photography used to estimate disease severity in Dupuytren disease is an achievable, efficient, and reliable method of remotely assessing and monitoring patients and may be increasingly useful given the current health care climate and preference for remote consultations.

Keywords: Dupuytren contracture; Dupuytren disease; patient-initiated photography; telemedicine.