Characteristics of men aged 50 years or older who do not take up skin self-examination following an educational intervention

School of Public Health, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (Impact Factor: 5). 07/2012; 67(1):e57-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.10.019
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Early detection of cutaneous melanoma results in reduced morbidity and mortality. Although screening by physicians has been shown effective, the role of skin self-examination (SSE) in melanoma secondary prevention is less well studied. Various methods and educational strategies have been implemented to empower patients to perform efficacious SSEs. Patient demographics play an important role in their likelihood to examine their own skin and ability to detect melanoma. Visual aids such as total body photography and dermoscopy, which have improved physician exams, are becoming elements accessible to patients for augmentation of self-exam. This review examines the literature of SSE in melanoma detection.
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    ABSTRACT: IntroductionThe Skin Self-Examination Attitude Scale (SSEAS) is a brief measure that allows for the assessment of attitudes in relation to skin self-examination. This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the SSEAS using Item Response Theory (IRT) methods in a large sample of men¿¿¿50 years in Queensland, Australia.MethodsA sample of 831 men (420 intervention and 411 control) completed a telephone assessment at the 13-month follow-up of a randomized-controlled trial of a video-based intervention to improve skin self-examination (SSE) behaviour. Descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation, item¿total correlations, and Cronbach¿s alpha) were compiled and difficulty parameters were computed with Winsteps using the polytomous Rasch Rating Scale Model (RRSM). An item person (Wright) map of the SSEAS was examined for content coverage and item targeting.ResultsThe SSEAS have good psychometric properties including good internal consistency (Cronbach¿s alpha¿=¿0.80), fit with the model and no evidence for differential item functioning (DIF) due to experimental trial grouping was detected.Conclusions The present study confirms the SSEA scale as a brief, useful and reliable tool for assessing attitudes towards skin self-examination in a population of men 50 years or older in Queensland, Australia. The 8-item scale shows unidimensionality, allowing levels of SSE attitude, and the item difficulties, to be ranked on a single continuous scale. In terms of clinical practice, it is very important to assess skin cancer self-examination attitude to identify people who may need a more extensive intervention to allow early detection of skin cancer.
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