Illness Perception Regarding Early-stage Mycosis Fungoides among Dermatologists: A Multi-centre Cross-sectional Study
Keywords:mycosis fungoides, illness perception, psychodermatology
Early-stage mycosis fungoides is a rare cutaneous T-cell lymphoma with a good prognosis. Data regarding patients’ illness perception of mycosis fungoides are accumulating. However, investigating the dermatologists’ viewpoint is also essential, as it shapes the therapeutic relationship and doctor–patient communication. The aim of this study was to investigate the aspects of dermatologists’ illness perception towards early-stage mycosis fungoides and the way they present it to patients. Twenty-five dermatology residents and 55 attending physicians from all Israeli dermatology departments and the community completed the study questionnaires online. Dermatologists viewed mycosis fungoides as a chronic disease, causing a moderate emotional burden. In contrast to previously published data regarding patients’ illness perception, dermatologists demonstrated dominancy in the notion that patients were able to control their disease. Most dermatologists thought that patients perceived mycosis fungoides as an indolent lymphoma that causes anxiety. Dermatologists used a high diversity of themes when presenting mycosis fungoides to patients. The differences between the residents’ and attending physicians’ perceptions were minimal. Dermatologists have a kaleidoscope of views regarding the way they perceive mycosis fungoides, the way they think patients perceive it, and the way they communicate with patients. Maintaining patient-centred communication enables dermatologists to identify these gaps and view mycosis fungoides from their patients’ perspective.
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