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Title: Patients’ experiences of telemedicine for their skin problems : qualitative study
Authors: Chow, Aloysius
Teo, Sok Huang
Kong, Jing Wen
Lee, Simon
Heng, Yee Kiat
van Steensel, Maurice
Smith, Helen
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Chow, A., Teo, S. H., Kong, J. W., Lee, S., Heng, Y. K., van Steensel, M. & Smith, H. (2022). Patients’ experiences of telemedicine for their skin problems : qualitative study. JMIR Dermatology, 5(1), e24956-.
Project: CPHCRI1.1#001
Journal: JMIR Dermatology
Abstract: Background: Teledermatology is a cost-effective treatment modality for the management of skin disorders. Most evaluations use quantitative data, and far less is understood about the patients’ experience. Objective: This qualitative study aimed to explore patients’ perceptions of a teledermatology service linking public primary care clinics to the national specialist dermatology clinic in Singapore. A better understanding of patients’ experiences can help refine and develop the care provided. Methods: Semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with patients who had been referred to the teledermatology service. The interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed before undergoing thematic content analysis. Results: A total of 21 patients aged between 22 and 72 years were recruited. The following 3 themes were identified from the data of patients’ experiences: positive perceptions of teledermatology, concerns about teledermatology, and ideas for improving the teledermatology service. The patients found the teledermatology service convenient, saving them time and expense and liberating them from the stresses incurred when making an in-person visit to a specialist facility. They valued the confidence and reassurance they gained from having a dermatologist involved in deciding their management. The patients’ concern included data security and the quality of the images shared. Nonetheless, they were keen to see the service expanded beyond the polyclinics. Their experiences and perceptions will inform future service refinement and development. Conclusions: This narrative exploration of users’ experiences of teledermatology produced rich data enabling a better understanding of the patients’ journey, the way they understand and interpret their experiences, and ideas for service refinement. Telemedicine reduces traveling and enables safe distancing, factors that are much needed during pandemics.
ISSN: 2562-0959
DOI: 10.2196/24956
Schools: Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) 
Organisations: National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, Singapore
National Skin Centre, Singapore
Skin Research Institute of Singapore, Singapore
Rights: © Aloysius Chow, Sok Huang Teo, Jing Wen Kong, Simon Lee, Yee Kiat Heng, Maurice van Steensel, Helen Smith. Originally published in JMIR Dermatology (, 22.02.2022. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Dermatology Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

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