Clinicians' perspectives on the integration of electronic patient-reported outcomes into dermatology clinics: a qualitative study

Qual Life Res. 2022 Jun;31(6):1719-1725. doi: 10.1007/s11136-021-03030-w. Epub 2021 Nov 2.


Background: Skin conditions can have profound negative symptomatic and psychological effects. Failure to address these effects can lead to poor treatment adherence and/or patient dissatisfaction. Despite patient-reported outcome (PRO) use being highly recommended, real-world adoption has been slow.

Objectives: To assess clinicians' perceived facilitators and barriers to using PROs in daily practice.

Methods: We conducted in-person semi-structured interviews with 19 clinicians and thematic analysis of transcripts.

Results: Three main themes emerged: (1) clinicians' attitudes about the value of Skindex-16 in daily practice, (2) patient attitudes influencing clinicians' use of Skindex-16, and (3) clinicians' perceptions of their ability to use PROs successfully for clinical care. Clinicians recognized benefits to using Skindex-16, such as revealing patients' hidden concerns and highlighting discrepancies with the clinician's severity assessments. Conversely, clinicians also identified limitations, such as time constraints and lack of relevance for some skin conditions. Patient complaints about PRO relevance have influenced clinicians' use of Skindex-16 negatively. Finally, some clinicians recognized the need for more training in score interpretation and implementation strategies for optimal clinical flow.

Conclusions: While most clinicians believed PROs like Skindex-16 can be useful for patient care, barriers need to be addressed to make PROs more practical for routine clinical care.

Keywords: Dermatologist; Dermatology; Patient-reported outcomes; Quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Dermatology*
  • Electronics
  • Humans
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life / psychology