Home Phototherapy Study

By Kay-Anne Haykal and Jean-Pierre DesGroseilliers

From the University of Ottawa Division of Dermatology; Phototherapy Clinics, Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus; and Sisters of Charity Ottawa Health Service, Elisabeth Bruyere Health Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Reprinted with permission from Volume 10, Issue 5, of the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery; an official publication of the Canadian Dermatology Association.

In 2006, after several years of prescribing Narrowband UVB home phototherapy for patients that “had already responded favourably to phototherapy” at one of the Ottawa clinics, this independent study was undertaken to assess “the viability and safety of such treatment”. It was concluded: “NB-UVB home phototherapy was found to be very effective in comparison with hospital therapy. It is safe and presents few side effects when patients receive appropriate guidelines, teaching, and follow-ups.

Not only is it convenient, it also provides effective savings for the patients who are unable to attend the hospital owing to time, travel, and interference with work schedules. “All patients on home therapy were satisfied with their treatment, plan to continue it, and recommend it to others in similar situations.” Click on the picture to download the complete article. (189kB pdf)

A Summary of the Article’s Facts are:

(With direct quotes from the article in “quotation marks”)

Patients Involved

Twenty-five patients took part in the study; 12 women and 13 men. Ages ranged from 10 to 72 years old with the mean age of 49 years old.

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Solarc Devices Only

All patients used Solarc/SolRx home phototherapy devices exclusively.

Skin Conditions

Of the 25 patients; 20 had psoriasis, 2 had vitiligo, 2 had mycosis fungoides, and 1 had atopic dermatitis.

Devices Used

Of the Solarc/SolRx devices used; 18 were 1000‑Series full body panels (1760UVB-NB and 1780UVB‑NB) and 7 were 500‑Series Hand/Foot & Spot devices (550UVB-NB).

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Treatment Length

“The duration on home therapy varied from 2 weeks to 1.5 years, and the number of treatments to date was in the range of 10 to 200 treatments.”

No Financial Support

“Solarc Systems Inc. provided no financial support for this study.”

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Survey Stats

The survey consisted of approximately 30 questions. See the Appendix in the article for the actual questions.

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Patience Response

All patients “had already responded favourably to phototherapy” at one of the Ottawa clinics and had used Narrowband UVB home phototherapy devices with Philips /01 311 nm bulbs.

A Summary of the Article’s Findings are:

(With direct quotes from the article in “quotation marks”)

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Effectiveness

“Twenty-four (96%) viewed the home unit approach to be effective, and only one patient was not yet convinced.” (That patient had the device for only 2 weeks)

Overall Success

“Over time, it seems that all patients achieve appropriate clearing and recommend home treatment.”

Hospital Comparison

“In comparison between home versus hospital phototherapy, 6 patients (25%) regarded home treatment to be superior, 12 patients (48%) had similar results, and 7 patients viewed the hospital therapy as more effective.”

Ease of Use

“Twenty-three patients (92%) felt that the ease of operation of the home unit was high, and only two patients said that it was average.”

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Solarc Information

“Twenty-four patients (96%) believed that the information received from Solarc Systems Inc. was helpful.”

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Solarc User's Manual

“Nurses and dermatologists who do not operate a phototherapy center should be aware of the detailed instructions provided by Solarc Systems Inc. Their role becomes more one of professional follow-up rather than one of education on the operation of the home unit”, (acknowledging the usefulness of the Solarc/SolRx User’s Manual).

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Improvement

“12 patients (48%) described their improvement to be marked, 12 patients said that it was average and only 1 patient reported that it was minimal.”

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Side Effects

“Few patients reported any side effects.”

Skin Maintenance

“More than half of the patients were on maintenance treatment as they have achieved resolution of the lesions. It appears that long-term maintenance can be achieved with doses less than one-quarter the minimum erythema dose”, (suggesting that once clearing is achieved, only low UVB-NB doses are needed to maintain substantially lesion-free skin).

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Recommended

“All patients agreed that they would continue the treatment; they would repeat it, and they would recommend it.”

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Home Phototherapy Benefits

“The main reasons for choosing home phototherapy were fewer travel expenses, less time required, less difficulty with work schedule, and recommendation by the dermatologist.”

Expenses

“Sixteen patients (64%) felt that the home phototherapy generated fewer expenses, with the monthly savings varying from $20 to $600 depending on the distance traveled and associated expenses, and on the work hours missed.”

These findings are consistent with the customer feedback Solarc has received on our Testimonials webpage. Click here to download the complete article. (189kB pdf)

Solarc Systems would like to thank Dr. Kay-Anne Haykal, Dr. Jean-Pierre DesGroseilliers and all the staff at the Elisabeth Bruyere and Ottawa Civic Hospitals for completing this study, and their purity of purpose.

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