Educational Aid for Acne Management Proves Beneficial


An educational video could be a solution to improve patient education about acne and its treatment.


Acne is a common skin condition that can significantly affect QOL, but it is often difficult for physicians to determine patients’ level of awareness of the treatment and management of their condition. Shared Decision Making (SDM) is a two-way process in which physicians and patients collaborate to create treatment plans based on medical evidence and patient values. “SDM can improve patient knowledge, satisfaction, and adherence to therapy,” said Wei-Ming Wang, MD, PhD. However, he adds, low health literacy can lead to negative outcomes, including poorer health outcomes, lower adherence to therapy, and more hospital admissions.

Recent studies have shown that using visual aids as health education materials, including pictograms and videos, appears to be an effective strategy to improve health literacy and medication compliance. For a study published in Plus oneevaluated Dr. Wang and colleagues described the use of a physician-created educational video as a patient decision-making aid (PDA) to improve patient knowledge about acne pathogenesis, treatment options, isotretinoin’s mechanism of action, and associated side effects. They also compared knowledge levels, preferences, and satisfaction levels after seeing either an educational brochure or the doctor-created video.

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Watching videos scored higher than reading brochures

For the study, the researchers collected responses from patients in dermatology outpatient clinics who used electronic devices. While waiting to be read, the patients first read educational brochures and completed a test. An 8-minute video created by the doctor was then accessed by the patients via their mobile devices. These patients then received another short test and questionnaire about their satisfaction with the brochure and video. All patients read the educational brochures, completed the test, then watched the video and completed the test and questionnaires. During the consultations, patients were able to meet with their dermatologist if they had questions about either PDA tool.

The study team enrolled 50 patients with acne, including 33 men and 17 women, aged 15 to 47. The results showed that test scores on patients’ knowledge of acne improved significantly after watching the video. Test scores after watching the video were 99 ± 4.79 compared to scores of 81 ± 19.55 after reading the educational brochure. Similar results were observed in a subgroup analysis by sex and in different age groups.

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Video leaves a lasting impact as a PDA for patient education

Based on participant feedback, the researchers found that a higher proportion of patients preferred the educational video to the brochure. “All patients agreed that the video helped them understand the educational information and made a greater impression on them than the booklet,” says Dr. Wang. “The video also enabled SDM to be performed efficiently during counseling.” Again, these results remained similar for males and females and for different age groups.

Most patients (82%) preferred the video to understand the mechanism of acne and side effects of oral isotretinoin, while 14% preferred the leaflet and 4% felt the same about both epidural tools. Investigators also found that 76% of participants “strongly agreed” that the video made a greater impression than the booklet on the acne mechanism, treatment, and side effects of oral isotretinoin. In addition, 82% of patients “totally agreed” that the video helped them better understand the acne mechanism, treatment, and side effects of oral isotretinoin (Figure).

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The study team notes that the educational video developed for the study could be a solution to improve patient education about acne and its treatment. “The educational video is an efficient way to share information with patients and their families and help them understand the benefits, harms and possible outcomes of different options,” says Dr. Wang, adding that using a training video created by a doctor as a PDA can enable doctors to perform SDM efficiently. Patients can also be reminded to watch the video anytime they are unsure about treatment options, side effects, or medication precautions.



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