Dermatology outpatient population profiling: Indigenous and non-indigenous dermatoepidemiology
Heyes, Christopher, Chan, Jonathan, Halbert, Anne, Clay, Christopher, Buettner, Petra, and Gebauer, Kurt (2011) Dermatology outpatient population profiling: Indigenous and non-indigenous dermatoepidemiology. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 52 (3). pp. 202-206.
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Little is known about the population using Australian dermatology outpatient services, in particular, Indigenous patients. This information is important to direct the strategic planning of dermatology services.
This study is a multicentre, retrospective audit of all patients attending public, outpatient dermatology clinics over 7 months across four Perth tertiary hospitals. The patient population (4873 patients) was profiled by age, gender, Indigenous status and rural/urban status. Medical records of the Indigenous patient population (104 patients) were reviewed to reveal the most common skin conditions.
The population using public, outpatient services had a median age of 48 years, 51.4% were male and 13.6% were from rural areas. Male patient median age was 50 years compared to 45 years for female patients (P = 0.002). Indigenous patients had a median age of 22 years, a female to male ratio of 3:2 and 26.9% were from rural areas. Over 50% of Indigenous patient appointments were missed. Skin infections, eczematous conditions and naevi were the most common skin conditions in Indigenous patients.
This data can guide strategies towards improving the provision of dermatology services for the Australian population. Particular attention is required towards improving Indigenous Australians' capacity to access dermatology services.