Melanoma Perception in People of Color: A Targeted Educational Intervention

Lucy X. Chao, Stavonnie S.L. Patterson, Alfred W. Rademaker, Dachao Liu, Roopal V. Kundu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Although melanoma is more common in non-Hispanic Whites, ethnic minorities face a greater risk of melanoma-related mortality, which may be partially attributed to presentation at atypical sites and a lack of awareness. Objective: Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of a melanoma educational intervention targeted towards people of color. Design: Participants received one of two scripted melanoma educational interventions in the summer of 2015. They completed surveys before the intervention, immediately post-intervention, and 2 months post-intervention. Setting: Dermatology clinic at an academic hospital. Participants: A consecutive sample of 100 participants who self-identified as African American, Asian, or Hispanic were recruited following their dermatology visit. In total, 70 participants completed the 2-month follow-up questionnaire. Intervention: The comparison intervention group received an educational intervention using a conventional pamphlet on the ‘ABCDEs’ (Asymmetry, Borders, Color, Diameter, Evolution) of melanoma. The targeted intervention group received a modified pamphlet that included a skin of color section, the nomenclature “melanoma skin cancer”, and an image of an individual performing a skin self-examination with the help of a friend. Main Outcomes and Measures: Melanoma knowledge, perceived risk for developing melanoma, and skin self-examination practices were assessed through self-reported questionnaires. Results: Among the 100 participants, 78% self-identified as African American, 11% as Asian, and 11% as Hispanic. Both groups experienced a similar increase in melanoma knowledge that was retained at 2 months. Perceived personal risk for developing melanoma increased more in the targeted intervention group immediately post-intervention (p = 0.015), but this difference no longer existed between the groups at the 2-month follow-up. The targeted intervention group also demonstrated a greater increase in skin self-examinations (p = 0.048) and knowledge of warning signs to look for when examining the skin (p = 0.002) at the 2-month follow-up. Conclusions and Relevance: The educational intervention targeted towards people of color resulted in increased skin self-examinations. Educational material that is relevant to ethnic minorities may better promote early detection and help to decrease the disparity in melanoma-related morality rates. Trial Registration: registration number NCT02437305.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-427
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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