Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 419–434 | Cite as

Prevalence and Correlates of Sun Protection and Skin Self-Examination Practices Among Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma Survivors

Article

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.

KEY WORDS:

psychological factors sun protection skin self-examination cancer survivorship 

Notes

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We thank Maryann Krayger for her superb technical assistance in preparing this article and James Babb and Eric Ross for statistical consultation. We thank Briana Floyd, Julie Hess, Nicole Fasanella, and Summer Sherburne-Hawkins for data collection and the patients who participated in this study for their time. This work was supported by grant K24 #AR02102 to Dr. Lessin, by funding from the Greater Harrisburg Foundation, and by grant CA 107312 from the National Cancer Institute.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphiaPA

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