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MULLER, Karen Reetz et al. Evaluation of patients’ learning about the ABCD rule: a randomized study in southern Brazil. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2009, vol.84, n.6, pp.593-598. ISSN 0365-0596.

Background: the ABCD rule is used to guide physicians, health care professionals and patients to recognize the main characteristics of suspicious skin lesions for melanoma. In Brazil there are no studies to validate the use of the ABCD rule by patients after instructions given by dermatologists. Objectives: to evaluate the learning of the ABCD rule by patients at a dermatology center of reference in the Southern region of Brazil. Methods: a randomized study, with 80 outpatients. The following were evaluated: sex, age, level of schooling, monthly income and access to means of communication. The intervention group received instructions regarding the use of the ABCD rule and the control group did not. Both groups were evaluated at three points in time (baseline; outside the office; and in the doctor's office, 15 days later) regarding their answers about a panel of photographs. The level of significance used was p < 0.05 and a power of 0.80. Results: the group that received information answered correctly regarding the diagnosis of melanomas more often compared to the control group (p < 0.01).Except access to radio broadcasting, which had a positive influence of the results (p < 0.05), the other variables evaluated did not influence the results. Conclusions: the ABCD rule can be used to train patients, above the age of 17 years, to identify changes that suggest melanoma. This learning is independent of sex, level of schooling, monthly income and access to means of communication, except the radio.

Keywords : Diagnosis; Melanoma; Patients.

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