Distance Learning and Spaced Review to Complement Dermoscopy Training for Primary Care

Dermatol Pract Concept. 2021 Apr 12;11(2):e2021030. doi: 10.5826/dpc.1102a30. eCollection 2021 Mar.


Background: Dermoscopy aids in skin cancer identification. For family physicians who use dermoscopy, there is higher sensitivity for melanoma detection than naked-eye examination. There is a shortage of dermoscopy training for primary care providers. The triage amalgamated dermoscopic algorithm (TADA) is designed for novice dermoscopists. While TADA can be taught in a short dermoscopy workshop, spaced review and blended learning strategies improve knowledge retention.

Objectives: This study determined the impact that the addition of a distance learning platform has on clinical dermoscopy use. Moreover, it evaluated dermoscopic image identification (knowledge retention) following the addition of distance learning via Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO) to a traditional TADA dermoscopy workshop.

Methods: Primary care providers voluntarily attended a 120-minute TADA dermoscopy workshop. Participants completed pre-intervention, post-TADA, and post-ECHO tests of 30 dermoscopic images of benign and malignant skin lesions. A survey was also administered to analyze clinical dermoscopy use and prior dermoscopy training.

Results: Twenty-seven residents, faculty, and advanced practice providers participated in this longitudinal observational cohort study. Mean test scores (out of 30) for images of benign and malignant lesions improved from 20.29 pre-intervention to 24.62 post-TADA and 27.63 post-ECHO (P < .001). On average, participants attended 4 ECHO sessions (out of 7 total) and there was a positive correlation (r = 0.77) between the number of ECHOs attended and post-ECHO scores. Dermoscope use increased from 37.0% to 96.3% (P < .001).

Conclusion: Distance learning and spaced review complement dermoscopy workshop training for primary care.

Keywords: dermoscopy; distance learning; primary care; resident education; skin cancer.