What Motivates Men Age ≥ 50 Years to Participate in A Screening Program for Melanoma?

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Abstract

BACKGROUND.

The screening behavior and screening outcomes of men age ≥50 years was investigated within a randomized controlled trial of a community-based intervention of screening for melanoma, consisting of a community education program, an education program for medical practitioners, and the provision of dedicated skin-screening clinics.

METHODS.

Data from cross-sectional telephone surveys before (559 completed interviews), at the end (591 completed interview), and at 2 years after the intervention (445 completed interviews) were analyzed. In addition, the authors analyzed data from skin-screening clinics within the intervention program (3355 men age ≥50 years participated).

RESULTS.

During the intervention period men age ≥50 years increased both their screening behavior and intention to screen. Those men age ≥50 years who reported a past history of removal of a mole as well as other risk factors for skin cancer and positive attitudes toward screening were more likely to participate in skin screening across time. Men age ≥50 years accounted for 20.5% of all skin-screening clinic attendees, 31.3% of those referred for a suspicious lesion, 48.5% of melanomas, and 45% of all keratinocyte carcinomas diagnosed within the screening program, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS.

The intervention program successfully motivated men age ≥50 years to attend screening for skin cancer, resulting in the highest yield of skin cancer within this subgroup of the population. Messages addressing skin cancer risk factors and attitudes toward skin cancer and screening could be used to target a screening program for melanoma toward men age ≥50 years.

CONCLUSIONS.

Within a population-based screening program for melanoma, men age ≥50 years significantly increased their participation in screening for melanoma and intention to screen. Within skin-screening clinics provided within the intervention program, men age ≥50 years contributed 48.5% of melanomas, and 45% of all keratinocyte carcinomas diagnosed.

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