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Title: A cross-sectional survey of a dermatology outpatient service in Malta
Authors: Aquilina, Susan
Amato-Gauci, Andrew J.
Boffa, Michael J.
Keywords: Dermatology -- Malta
Dermatology -- Health services administration -- Survey
Ambulatory medical care
Dermatology -- Diseases -- Treatment
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Malta Medical Journal
Citation: Malta Medical Journal. 2005, Vol.17(2), p. 21-25
Abstract: A survey of the outpatient service provided by a consultant dermatologist at the national dermatology department in Malta was carried out. The aims of this study were to identify the main conditions being treated and to analyze management and referral practices. Possible implications for future training of primary care physicians were also investigated. The survey was carried out for one week every season over a 12-month period, giving a total study period of four weeks. Data was collected on a total of 662 patients (401 new patients and 261 follow-ups). The average waiting time for a routine clinic appointment for new cases was 4 weeks, but 18% of patients were seen within 48 hours of referral and 7% were seen within one week. Age-specific attendance rates were highest for females over 50 years and males over 60. Overall, the commonest conditions seen were chronic leg ulcers, psoriasis, skin infections and seborrhoeic keratoses. Skin biopsy was the most frequent investigation performed and topical treatment was the commonest form of therapy. Private general practitioners and government doctors based in health centres accounted for 51% and 29% of all referrals respectively. A diagnosis was offered in 65% of referral notes. Of these, 44% had a diagnosis matching that given by the dermatologist at the patient's first visit. Treatment was attempted prior to referral in 64% of patients with acne but in only 15% of patients with viral warts.
Appears in Collections:MMJ, Volume 17, Issue 2
MMJ, Volume 17, Issue 2
Scholarly Works - FacM&SMed
Scholarly Works - FacM&SPH

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