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Pediatr Dermatol. 2003 Jan-Feb;20(1):16-24.

Skin cancer prevention counseling and clinical practices of pediatricians.

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Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030-4009, USA.


Little is known about pediatricians' counseling and clinical practices to reduce skin cancer risk among their patients. Thus our objectives were to characterize skin cancer preventive counseling and clinical practices in a sample of pediatricians and identify correlates of these practices. Physicians practicing general pediatrics in Harris County, Texas, received a mail survey that assessed their sun protection recommendations and skin cancer preventive counseling and clinical practices. Pediatrician, patient, and medical practice variables were assessed as correlates. Most (76%) pediatricians routinely recommended sunscreen; however, relatively few (24%) suggested reapplying it after prolonged periods outside. About half routinely recommended protective clothing (53%), shade (47%), or limiting midday sun exposure (46%). Even fewer pediatricians routinely discussed skin cancer risk factors, passed out sunscreen samples, made educational materials available, took a family history of skin cancer, or documented risk factors in a patient's chart. More than half reported that they routinely performed full-body skin examinations during a first visit (65%) and annually (56%). Perceived barriers, perceived relevance of skin cancer prevention, and personal sun protection practices were important factors associated with professional practices in this sample. Interventions are needed to increase pediatricians' counseling and clinical practices to reduce skin cancer risk among patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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