Family Practitioners Using an Internet Portal (“Listserver Family Medicine”) to Discuss and Solve Dermatologic Problems

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2015.0512-0516

german translation / full article

Jörg Schelling, Linda Sanftenberg, Sabine Reuter

Keywords: Skin Rash Listserver Family Medicine Differential Diagnosis Dermatology Herpes Zoster

Background: The „Listserver Family Medicine“ (LFM) is an internet portal for family doctors hosted by the German Research Net. For instance, uncertain diagnoses can be discussed with a broad community to share professional experience and know-how and to exchange ideas for the best possible treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of the LFM on solving uncertain dermatologic casuistics.

Methods: We retrospectively searched in the LFM´s archive for the keywords “skin findings + skin rash + dermatosis + dermal symptoms + macule + eczema”. Afterwards we assessed the number of received answers, the time frame of replies, the number of differential diagnoses and the solution of cases.

Results: In 18 of 29 cases (62.1 %) a final diagnosis could be found. Most frequent etiologies were infectious diseases (44.4 %) and autoimmune disease (27.8 %). When we compared cases with a final diagnosis and those with an unknown diagnosis, there was no significant difference regarding the number of answers, the differential diagnoses and the time frame of incoming answers.

Conclusions: Although the photo material was limited and did not enable a full picture of the patient the LFM could serve as valuable tool especially for young, unexperienced doctors who wish to profit from experience of other family practitioners.

(State: 07.01.2016)

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