Permanent chemotherapy-induced alopecia: awareness and attitudes among health care providers

  • Jenna R. Stoehr
  • Cory Kosche
  • Jennifer N. ChoiEmail author
Original Article



Reports of permanent chemotherapy-induced alopecia (PCIA) are increasing in the field of oncodermatology, but there is a dearth of information regarding how it is recognized and managed by health care providers (HCPs) across different medical specialties (dermatology, oncology, and internal medicine).


A 25-question survey was designed to elicit general knowledge and awareness of PCIA, as well as attitudes about referral and treatment. Responses were collected via REDCap, a secure online application, and analyzed with descriptive statistics, chi-square, and ANOVA tests.


There was a significant difference in the number of subjects who had heard of PCIA prior to starting the survey (Derm 79%, Onc 30%, IM 22%, p < 0.05). A larger percentage of dermatology and oncology HCPs knew the correct definition of the condition (alopecia persisting > 6 months) than IM (42% and 45% vs. 17%) and significantly more had encountered patients with the condition (47% and 45% vs. 17%). More providers in dermatology and IM knew how to diagnose PCIA compared with oncology (84% and 83% vs. 70%). Dermatology HCPs were the only participants who had attempted to treat patients with PCIA, and most providers believed that patients would accept similar types of treatment for PCIA. Dermatology HCPs were more likely to report higher confidence in their abilities to diagnose and manage PCIA than other providers.


The results of this survey identify knowledge gaps about PCIA among health care providers. Therefore, education and multidisciplinary engagement should be pursued in order to improve awareness, diagnosis, referral, and management of PCIA as part of survivorship care.


Permanent chemotherapy-induced alopecia Oncodermatology Survey research Long-term effects of cancer treatment Survivorship 



REDCap is supported at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine by the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Science (NUCATS) Institute. NUCATS is supported, in part, by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Grant Number UL1TR001422. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Author contributions

All authors contributed to study conception and design. Data collection and analysis was performed by J. Stoehr. The first draft of the manuscript was written by J. Stoehr. All authors contributed to consequent versions and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenna R. Stoehr
    • 1
  • Cory Kosche
    • 1
  • Jennifer N. Choi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer CenterNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA

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