Categorized | MRV Research

Clinical practice guidelines for melanoma care have room for improvement

Source:, September 2014

Adding a dedicated section for the identification, screening and follow-up of people at high risk for melanoma, in addition to providing more clearly worded definitions of certain terminology, would improve the quality and value of recommendations for future melanoma clinical practice guidelines, according to researchers.

hrough a systematic review of Medline, Embase and four guideline databases, researchers identified 34 guidelines from 20 countries. The researchers documented the quality of supporting evidence for clinical management guidelines for people with a high risk for melanoma to determine areas of strength and weakness.

Although 32 of the clinical practice guidelines pointed out that certain groups within the population are at higher risk for melanoma, the number of risk factors identified in the different sets of guidelines varied significantly, according to the researchers.

The risk factors of: high naevus counts, dysplastic naevi, Fitzpatrick Skin Type I or II, and family history predominated in all guidelines.

Melanoma risk factors were found in more than 50% of guidelines; however, a wide range of terminology was used to describe risk factors between the different sets of guidelines. Some guidelines differentiated between very high and high risk groups. Many of the inconsistencies are around the use of terminology and guidelines could be improved with clear definitions of multiple nevi, family history and frequency of follow-up.

Additionally, the definitions of what determined a high-risk group varied between the different sets of guidelines, according to the researchers.

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