Wagner, 1998 (doctors and electrolysis/laser practitioners)

Wagner, 1998

Title: Dermatologists’ attitudes toward independent nonphysician electrolysis practice.

Author: Wagner RF Jr, Brown T, Archer RE, Uchida T

Journal: Dermatol Surg 1998 Mar;24(3):357-62; discussion 362-3

PMID: 9537011, UI: 98198115

Affiliated institution: Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, USA.

BACKGROUND: Dermatologists’ attitudes toward independent electrolysis practice by nonphysicians has historically ranged from the critical to the praiseworthy. It is hypothesized that dermatologists’ attitudes toward independent electrolysis practice by nonphysicians is related to physicians’ perception of licensing requirements for independent nonphysician electrologists (INE).

METHODS: Nine hundred and thirty-seven fellows of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) residing in the Southern United States were anonymously surveyed about independent electrolysis practice by nonphysicians. The results of the survey were analyzed using the Pearson chi-square test.

RESULTS: Dermatologists who perceived that licensing was required for INE were significantly more likely to refer patients to INE for hair removal (P = 0.001) and prescribe EMLA cream (lidocaine 2.5% and prilocaine 2.5%) to patients requesting it for electrolysis performed by INE (P = 0.001). However, those dermatologists who had electrolysis services available in their practice settings (15.1%) were significantly less likely to refer patients to INE (P = 0.001) and to prescribe EMLA cream to patients seeking electrolysis from INE (P = 0.034). Only 5.7% of responding dermatologists supported the use of hair removal lasers by INE.

CONCLUSION: Dermatologists’ attitudes toward INE generally appear to be positively related to perceived licensure requirements for INE, but these positive attitudes do not extend to independent laser use by nonphysician electrologists for hair removal.

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