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Derm News: 2007.8(7)

Management of actinic keratosis patients: A qualitative study

Journal of Dermatological Treatment, Volume 18, Issue 1 2007, pages 53-58
Solveig Esmann; Gregor B. E. Jemec


In order to reinforce the appropriate UV-related behaviour of patients with actinic keratosis (AK), it is of importance to understand the underlying psychological aspects of having AK.


Open and systematic explorative interviews were conducted with 15 AK patients. Open, single interviews (n = 6) were made and summarized. Partly based on topics found by the single interviews, two qualitative group interviews (n = 7) with AK patients were performed. The topics of general importance were identified through analysis of the statements given at the group interviews. A third group interview (n = 2) was made to confirm the analytical results from the former interviews.


Important topics for patients with AK were found to relate to the way to act in the sun (leisure time and outdoor work), a changed appearance, the seriousness of the AK diagnosis, control of the disease, and the sense of illness due to AK. Emotional reactions included worry, fear, irritation, doubt, guilt, and a relaxed attitude.


It is suggested that the topics touched upon form psychological and pedagogical reference points for patient behaviour. Awareness of these topics is therefore recommended in the management of patient information related to AK.

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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.