Have you ever considered a telehealth appointment? Our Supportive Care team recently conducted a survey where they asked melanoma patients and clinicians for feedback on telehealth.

The goal of the Telehealth Perceptions Study was to investigate the acceptability of using telehealth services (e.g., telephone, video-conferencing software) for melanoma-related appointments, from the perspective of both people diagnosed with melanoma and their clinicians. This article summarises the results of this study.

What was the Telehealth Perceptions Study?

Due to the lockdown measures implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many melanoma-related services began to use telehealth to deliver melanoma care. Although telehealth offers several advantages, such as allowing people diagnosed with melanoma to participate in melanoma-related appointments in the comfort of their home and decreasing the likelihood of infection with COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, it also has limitations such as the inability to conduct physical examinations. Although COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency of national concern, telehealth remains a common option offered by melanoma and dermatology clinics nationwide; however, little research is available regarding the opinions of people diagnosed with melanoma and their clinicians regarding these services.

This was the goal of the Telehealth Perceptions Study – to investigate and assess the acceptability of telehealth for melanoma-related appointments and how telehealth could be improved, from the perspective of both people diagnosed with melanoma and their clinicians.

How was the Telehealth Perceptions Study conducted?
Throughout 2022, people diagnosed with melanoma who attended a telehealth appointment at MIA were invited to complete a one-time survey regarding their perceptions of the telehealth service they received. Furthermore, MIA clinicians who provided telehealth consultations were also invited to participate in this survey.

What Were the Results of the Study?

A total of 115 melanoma patients completed the survey, with a vast majority reporting:
• That they felt their clinician was able to answer all their questions appropriately through telehealth.
• That they felt their clinician was engaged in their melanoma care.
• Their clinician was able to appropriately and quickly address any problems raised regarding their melanoma care.
• That their privacy was adequately protected.

Furthermore, a total of 13 of MIA’s clinicians also completed the survey. These clinicians felt that the quality of telehealth consultations was similar to that of face-to-face consultations and felt comfortable conducting consultations through telehealth when appropriate.

Both groups agreed that the major shortcoming of telehealth was the inability to conduct physical examinations. At a personal level, both groups also identified unfamiliarity and discomfort with discussing sensitive issues as further disadvantages of telehealth. Despite these disadvantages, both groups found telehealth to be convenient, safe, and easy to access and use, especially for patients who live outside metropolitan areas. Both groups reported telehealth is helpful and has a place in ongoing melanoma practice, specifically during routine follow-up appointments when no physical examination is required.


Based on the results of this study, it is evident that telehealth has an important role to play in the ongoing follow-up care of individuals diagnosed with melanoma. However, telehealth should be reserved for scenarios where physical examinations are not required and remove unnecessary travel to provide melanoma patients the comfort of conducting their follow-up appointments at home.

Thank you to all the patients and clinicians who dedicated their time and effort to participate in this study to help guide our clinical services going into the future.