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Medical ethical standards in dermatology: an analytical study of knowledge, attitudes and practices

Authors


  • Conflicts of interest

    • None declared.
  • Financial disclosure

    • None declared.

Abstract

Background

Dermatology practice has not been ethically justified at all times.

Objective

The objective of the study was to find out dermatologists' knowledge about medical ethics, their attitudes towards regulatory measures and their practices, and to study the different factors influencing the knowledge, the attitude and the practices of dermatologists.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional comparative study conducted among 214 dermatologists, from five Academic Universities and from participants in two conferences. A 54 items structured anonymous questionnaire was designed to describe the demographical characteristics of the study group as well as their knowledge, attitude and practices regarding the medical ethics standards in clinical and research settings. Five scoring indices were estimated regarding knowledge, attitude and practice. Inferential statistics were used to test differences between groups as indicated. The Student's t-test and analysis of variance were carried out for quantitative variables. The chi-squared test was conducted for qualitative variables. The results were considered statistically significant at a P > 0.05.

Results

Analysis of the possible factors having impact on the overall scores revealed that the highest knowledge scores were among dermatologists who practice in an academic setting plus an additional place; however, this difference was statistically non-significant (P = 0.060). Female dermatologists showed a higher attitude score compared to males (P = 0.028). The highest significant attitude score (P = 0.019) regarding clinical practice was recorded among those practicing cosmetic dermatology. The different studied groups of dermatologists revealed a significant impact on the attitude score (P = 0.049), and the evidence-practice score (P < 0.001).

Conclusion

Ethical practices will improve the quality and integrity of dermatology research.

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