Recent research undertaken at The Skin Hospital has shown that we can use technology to help improve patient understanding of the responsibilities and key safety issues for patients starting phototherapy (narrowband ultraviolet B therapy [NB-UVB]) for various skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis and vitiligo.
We designed a self-directed tablet-based education session, which covered the key safety messages needed by patients starting a course of phototherapy.
In a study carried out at our Darlinghurst site, we found that patients scored higher in a test of their knowledge of responsibilities and safety messages after using the tablet-based system, compared with the traditional nurse-led session. The tablet-based session was also shorter, leading to increased staff utility, in addition to saving patients time. Nurses and patients both gave positive feedback on the tablet session. We have now implemented this evidence-based system for all patients starting phototherapy at Darlinghurst and Westmead and hope that this leads to minimisation of the already low rate of side effects relating to phototherapy treatment.
We would like to thank all the staff and patients contributing to this study. The report on our study was recently published in the British Journal of Dermatology.