Sensitivity and specificity of self-reported acne in 18-year-old adolescent males

Authors

  • Hiram de Almeida Jr MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Dermatology, Catholic University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil
    2. Department of Dermatology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil
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  • Josayres Cecconi MSc, MD,

    1. Department of Dermatology, Catholic University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil
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  • Rodrigo P. Duquia MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Dermatology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil
    2. Department of Dermatology, Santa Casa de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
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  • Paulo R. Souza MSc, MD,

    1. Department of Dermatology, Catholic University of Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, Brazil
    2. Department of Dermatology, Santa Casa de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
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  • Juliano Breunig MD, PhD

    1. Department of Dermatology, Universidade de Santa Cruz do Sul, Santa Cruz do Sul, RS, Brazil
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  • Conflicts of interest: none.

Dr Hiram de Almeida Jr, MD, PhD
Department of Dermatology
Catholic University of Pelotas
Barroso 1202
96010-280 Pelotas
Brazil
E-mail: hiramalmeidajr@hotmail.com

Abstract

Background  Self-reporting is widely used in medical research. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the specificity and sensitivity of self-reported lesions of acne (scars and active lesions) obtained by an interview with the examination carried out by a dermatologist.

Methods  A questionnaire was applied to male adolescents who registered for obligatory military service. After that, skin examination was carried out.

Results  Of the 2,191 adolescents examined, 474 (21.60%) showed acne scars, and 625 (28.51%) admitted to having scars. The sensitivity of self-reported scars was 50.84%, and the specificity was 77.65%. The prevalence of active acne obtained by the dermatological examination was 85.76% and from self-reported acne was 76.12%, with a sensitivity of 80.95% and a specificity of 52.88%. Neither schooling nor social class made any difference to sensitivity or specificity.

Conclusions  Our findings showed that sensitivity and specificity of self-reported acne was very low, pointing out that, in a sample of adolescents, self-reporting of acne shows itself as an inadequate instrument for epidemiological studies.

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