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Research Letter
April 26, 2017

Enhancing the Relevance of Skin Self-examination for Latinos

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Biobehavioral Health and Prevention Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
JAMA Dermatol. Published online April 26, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.0322

Despite having a risk of developing melanoma similar to that of non-Hispanic whites (NHWs) with the same skin tones, Latino/Hispanic (Latino) individuals are not as knowledgeable about ways to reduce risks.1 Compared with their NHW counterparts, Latino patients in the United States more often present with tumors thicker than 1 mm (34.5% vs 24.9%), further advanced disease (Table), greater regional involvement (12.4% vs 8.3%), and more distant disease (6.6% vs 3.6%), all of which result in greater mortality.3 The present study of skin self-examination (SSE) among Latinos extends the reach of this intervention, the effectiveness of which has already been demonstrated in a randomized clinical trial of a more general population,4 and aligns the scoring of features by participants and the dermatologist.2 Psychosocial correlates within the Latino culture are evaluated, including knowledge of melanoma, perceived risk for developing melanoma, perceived benefit of early detection, perceived self-efficacy to perform SSE, perceived peer norms for checking the skin and seeking care from a physician, and perceived barriers to checking the skin. The study also examines culturally sensitive ways of enhancing the relevance of SSE for Latinos.

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