NYMC Faculty Publications


Scar Tissue I Wish You Saw: Patient Expectations Regarding Scar Treatment

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Although many invasive and noninvasive approaches exist, management of keloids and hypertrophic scars remains challenging. By better understanding patient expectations regarding scar treatments, dermatologists can provide higher quality and more satisfying care. Survey patients age 18 to 80 years with a history of hypertrophic, keloid, or disfiguring scars. Overall, 187 participants completed the 25-question survey. Expectations and willingness were measured on a 1-5 Likert scale. Results were analyzed overall and by patient demographics. Older respondents more often expected scar reduction, while younger patients expected scar removal. Compared with Caucasians, Asian respondents were more symptomatic, more likely to have seen a physician, and more willing to undergo invasive therapies. Respondent willingness for treatment and their perceived efficacy significantly differed across gender, age, and race. This study explores a gap in the literature of what role patient expectations play in electing specific treatments. Although patient expectations are complex and context dependent, gaining more understanding of what therapies patients are willing to attempt, and their expectations from those therapies could help guide counseling with the goal setting realistic expectations to improve patient compliance and satisfaction.