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Keywords:

  • skin cancer;
  • education;
  • prevention

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effect of a 2-hour, multicomponent educational intervention on provider skin cancer control practices.

DESIGN:

Nonrandomized intervention study. The intervention was a 2-hour curriculum designed to augment provider skin cancer control practices through instruction in basic skin cancer triage (BSCT) and a brief summary of skin cancer epidemiology, prevention, and counseling.

SETTING:

Five staff-model health maintenance organizations in southeastern New England.

PARTICIPANTS:

Convenience sample of primary care providers. Providers older than age 75, individuals in practice for less than 1 year, or individuals planning to retire in the next 2 years were excluded from the study. Twenty-two of 28 participants completed the study.

RESULTS:

Providers completed preintervention and postintervention surveys asking them to rate their attitudes towards skin examination and skin cancer counseling and to rate the frequency of their skin cancer control practices, using 5-point Likert scales. We independently assessed provider behavior through surveys of their patients, eliciting information on provider practices before and after BSCT participation. Following participation in the curriculum, there was significant improvement in provider attitudes towards the total body skin examination but not towards skin cancer prevention counseling. Significant increases in provider self- reported skin cancer control practices during an initial visit with a new patient (2.17 to 3.21, P < .0001) and a routine visit with a patient at high risk for melanoma (2.15 to 3.00, P < .0001) were demonstrated. Analysis of the patient exit interviews independently confirmed these changes in practice patterns.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study results suggest that the BSCT curriculum may be a useful tool in increasing the practice of skin cancer control measures by primary care providers.