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Targeted melanoma education of high risk groups improves screening

cer. High-risk siblings were randomly assigned to receive either the intervention or the standard of care and followed for 12 months. Subjects assigned to the intervention received three telephone-counseling sessions and personalized, targeted educational reading material mailings, and were referred to free screening exams. Subjects in the control arm were notified by their affected sibling and encouraged to see a physician.

After 12 months the intervention was successful in significantly increasing the number of siblings who performed skin self-examinations, including comparing moles and surveying the back, compared to the control group. However, there was no difference between intervention and control groups for either physician examinations or use of sun protection largely because of improved physician screening in the control group. In both the intervention and control groups the use of sunscreen increased.

This study provides insight into patterns of melanoma screening and protection practiced by this high-risk population. Furthermore, by identifying the behaviors that can be modified, it "may provide a useful foundation for future efforts to target the more than half million siblings at risk for melanoma," conclude the authors.


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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
10-Jul-2006


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