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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of telemedicine and telecare
Title HIV-positive patients in Botswana state that mobile teledermatology is an acceptable method for receiving dermatology care
Volume 17
Issue 6
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 338-340
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3163714/
There is a severe shortage of dermatologists in sub-Saharan Africa, with many areas having no dermatologists at all.[1] Furthermore, there is an increased prevalence of skin disease in HIV patients, with many conditions being unique to this population or more severe than in immunocompetent patients.[2] The presence of many of these conditions may affect HIV management.[3,4] Store-and-forward teledermatology offers a method for increasing access to skin specialists. Although many areas have limited computer connectivity, mobile phone networks are more accessible.[5, 9] Mobile teledermatology uses mobile phones to perform store-and-forward teledermatology consultations. Studies evaluating patient acceptability of conventional store-and-forward teledermatology have been conducted in various study populations.[6,7,8] However, it is unknown whether patients, particularly those infected with HIV in resource-limited settings such as southern Africa, find the use of mobile phones acceptable for collecting their health information and would be willing to receive skin care through this method. It is possible that patients with a socially stigmatizing condition such as HIV have additional privacy concerns or that they may feel concerned about transmission of sensitive information by mass telecommunication technologies. While several studies have evaluated patient acceptance of store-and-forward teledermatology in industrialized countries, we were unable to find any studies on patient acceptance in resource poor settings among patients with HIV.[8,9,10,11] We have investigated whether the use of mobile teledermatology technology in a resource-limited setting in Botswana was culturally acceptable to HIV positive patients.

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