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Prev Med. 2004 Mar;38(3):251-7.

Healthcare providers' sun-protection promotion and at-risk clients' skin-cancer-prevention outcomes.

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  • 1Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.



This study aims to determine whether healthcare providers' (HCPs') communication dealing with sun-protection (i.e., counseling) is associated with clients' skin-cancer-related prevention practices, detection self-efficacy, and knowledge.


Secondary analysis of two surveys of 1,469 randomly sampled farmers and soccer participants from southeast and coastal Georgia.


Farmers and soccer participants who report ever having been counseled by a HCP about how to protect their skin from the sun report being more likely to wear sunscreen (P < 0.05), get clinical exams of their skin (P < 0.001), be certain that they can recognize unhealthy changes in their skin (P < 0.001), be certain that they know how to perform a skin exam (P < 0.001), and be knowledgeable about skin cancer prevention (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively); soccer participants are additionally more likely to wear protective headgear (P < 0.05) and perform monthly self-exams of their skin (P < 0.001). All analyses incorporated three control variables: participants' prior history of skin cancer, age, and non-HCP-derived skin-cancer awareness.


Findings suggest that HCPs' counseling can positively shape skin-cancer-related prevention practices, detection self-efficacy, and knowledge. Additional research is needed on HCPs' actual communication about skin cancer and sun protection and its influence on client outcomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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