Categorized | Of Interest

Video intervention inspires men to undergo skin exams

Source: Skin and Allergy News, February 2014, By: MARY ANN MOON

Video interventions on the importance of undergoing clinical skin examinations may increase melanoma discovery rates, according to the results of a randomized clinical trial published online Feb. 19 in JAMA Dermatology.

A total of 870 Australian men aged 50 and older were randomly assigned to receive either a video plus written educational materials (436 men in the intervention group) or only the educational materials (434 men in the control group). Six months later, 35.3% of the intervention group patients reported that they had received a whole-body clinical skin examination from a physician during the interim, compared with 27.2% of the control group, the investigators reported.

Dr. Monika Janda

Dr. Monika Janda
Source: Skin & Allergy News

The video emphasized the seriousness of a melanoma diagnosis, explained risk factors for the disease and stressed the increased risk for men over age 50, modeled a whole-body self-examination, and showed a melanoma surgeon encouraging people to do their own skin exams and to request them from their physicians. The video also demonstrated a clinical skin exam being performed by a physician, and featured a well-known athlete, as well as melanoma survivors, who encouraged men to be screened for skin cancer, according to Monika Janda, Ph.D., of the School of Public Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, and her associates.

Overall, 34.1% of the intervention group underwent surgical excision or biopsy of at least 1 skin lesion, compared with 27.1% of the control group. Of the 130 lesions for which pathology reports were available, 2 were melanomas, 29 were squamous cell carcinomas, 38 were basal cell carcinomas, 17 were solar keratoses, 9 were benign nevi, 3 were dysplatic nevi, and 32 were other lesions. Significantly more skin cancers were detected in the intervention group (60%) than in the control group (40%), suggesting that the video intervention may lead to earlier detection of melanoma and other skin malignancies, Dr. Janda and her associates concluded.

This study was funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Committee. No financial conflicts of interest were reported.

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