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Prev Med. 1996 Mar-Apr;25(2):170-7.

Perceived susceptibility to and knowledge of malignant melanoma: screening participants vs the general population.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The incidence of and mortality from melanoma are increasing and no effective treatment for disseminated disease exists. Studies of factors influencing participation in prevention and early detection of melanoma are therefore warranted. In the present study, participants in public melanoma screening were compared with a sample of the Swedish population with respect to concern for nevi, perceived risk for melanoma, knowledge about melanoma, and sources of information. Gender differences were studied.

METHOD:

Consecutive participants in public melanoma screening (Participants) received questionnaires at registration for skin examination; 235 (96%) responded. Questionnaires were distributed by mail to a random sample of the Swedish population (Public); 1,070 (63%) responded.

RESULTS:

Participants were more concerned about nevi, and a higher proportion had previously consulted physicians for suspected lesions compared with the Public. Participants were better informed in terms of the number of sources of information and knowledge of melanoma and risk factors. There were no differences regarding perceived risk and there was a mixed picture concerning knowledge of sun effects and sun protection. Gender differences were found for perceived susceptibility to, knowledge of, and number of sources of information about melanoma, favoring women.

CONCLUSION:

The preventive aspects of screening as well as the good prognosis of melanoma detected early should be stressed in invitations to skin cancer screening. New approaches for reaching men are warranted.

PMID:
8860282
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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