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Acta Derm Venereol. 1997 Nov;77(6):467-70.

Factors influencing participation among melanoma screening attenders.

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Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


We surveyed the demographic profile and motives prompting to participate among people attending voluntary melanoma screening clinics in Southern Limburg, the Netherlands, in June 1993. Precampaign public announcements addressed only melanoma and its precursor lesions. All attendees completed a detailed questionnaire addressing demographic particulars and specific fixed choice questions on their motivation to attend. There were 4,146 persons attending the screening clinics. Most attendees opted for examination of a specific lesion (71%). More females than males participated. Fear of having skin cancer was an important reason to participate (27%). Of all attenders, 16% had to be convinced by relatives or friends to attend the screens, and 33% would not have visited a physician on their own initiative when there had not been a free screening. Females were more concerned about skin cancer than males. The local and regional newspapers formed the most important precampaign publicity channel. Free melanoma screenings attract large numbers of people. Males are underrepresented. They are less aware of the risk profile of melanoma. Future screenings should target the male population.

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