Prevalence and Correlates of Sun Protection and Skin Self-Examination Practices Among Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma Survivors
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Little is known about the level of engagement and correlates of sun protection and skin self-exam among individuals diagnosed with melanoma. Participants (N = 229) completed measures of skin self-exam and sun protection practice and knowledge and attitudes. Approximately eighty-four percent of patients reported engaging in skin self-examination at least once in the past year. Engagement in sun protection practices was moderate. Self-exam practice was associated with gender, physician recommendation about self-exam, and perceived benefits and barriers of self-exam. Sun protection was associated with gender, age, medical status and health care access, physician recommendation, knowledge, and a number of psychological factors. Behavioral interventions to improve skin surveillance and sun protection may benefit from an emphasis on physician education regarding self-exam and sun protection, education regarding the efficacy of sunscreen and the risks associated with sunbathing, reducing perceived barriers to self-exam and sun protection, and reducing reliance on social influences on sun protection practices.