Paper Type

Doctoral Project


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Dr. Carol Ledbetter

Second Advisor

Dr. Jan Meires

Third Advisor

Dr. Michele Bednarzyk

Department Chair

Dr. Lillia Loriz

College Dean

Dr. Pamela Chally


The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of a practice-based dermoscopy training program for dermatology healthcare providers in order to improve their technique of performing clinical skin exams for the early detection of melanomas.

The overall incidence of melanoma continues to rise. More than 75% of all skin cancer deaths are from melanoma. Advanced melanoma spreads to lymph nodes and internal organs and can result in death. One American dies from melanoma almost every hour (American Cancer Society [ACS], 2009). Early diagnosis and excision are essential to reduce morbidity and to improve patient survival.

This one-group before-and-after study design utilized a convenience sample of three dermatology healthcare providers (DHPs). The primary investigator conducted a retrospective review of the pathology logs for each provider. The time frame for the review was a three-month period in 2010, which represented the same time frame that the study was conducted in 2011. The DHPs participated in a four-hour training workshop that included pattern analysis recognition using dermoscopy. Following the workshop, each DHP was given a DermLite 3Gen DL100 to use in practice when performing clinical skin examinations. All DHPs completed a data collection sheet to document their pattern of decision making with and without a DermLite. The outcome of interest was the use of dermoscopy by DHPs to demonstrate an increased detection of melanoma when compared to naked-eye examination. The outcome was evaluated 12 weeks post-workshop training.

There were 120 evaluations made with the DermLite as compared to the naked eye. The overall agreement was 0.52, AC1 coefficient (95% CI) was 0.36 (0.30, 0.42), p < .001, and kappa coefficient (95% CI) was 0.27 (0.20, 0.43), p < .001. Overall, the risk of lesion under exam being suspicion for skin cancer was higher on 27.5% (33 out of 120) of the evaluations and lower on 20.8% (25 out of 120) evaluations. The risk of lesion was evaluated the same on 51.7% (62 out of 120) of the evaluations. This is an indication of “Poor” agreement between the two methods. The diagnosis and disposition made using DermLite compared to naked-eye results for both coefficients provided an “Intermediate to Good” agreement between the two methods in assigning diagnosis and disposition. This indicates that there is no difference between DermLite and naked-eye evaluations.

More studies are needed in order to provide better evidence on the value of dermoscopy in clinical practice at the Dermatology and Laser Center. Future projects should be more explicit regarding the methods used and lesion selection in order to better understand the benefits of dermoscopy.