An evaluation of a skin self-examination programme

15 May 2017

Dr Rowell in collaboration with Dr Nguyen, Professor Bade and Professor Janda, have published “An evaluation of a skin self-examination programme: Four-stage recursive model” in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention.

Effective skin self-examination (SSE) can enable the early diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. The effect of watching a DVD and reading printed materials on self skin examination was analysed using longitudinal data from the Randomized Skin Awareness Trial. The control group were provided with written materials and the intervention group, additional instruction from a DVD. Skin self-examination was hypothesized to be endogenous, and controlled for using a four-stage recursive model that identified four stages in the diagnostic process; skin self-examination, mole identification, clinical appointment, skin cancer diagnosis.

At six months only watching the DVD had a statistically significant effect on diagnosed skin cancer. By 12 months both interventions were statistically significant; reading the printed materials was 63% as effective as watching DVD. Both visual and written communication should be considered, when designing an effective skin self-examination programme.