Sun protection and skin surveillance practices among relatives of patients with malignant melanoma: Prevalence and predictors

Sharon Manne, Nicole Fasanella, Jennifer Connors, Briana Floyd, Hao Wang, Stuart Lessin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background. Little is known about acceptance of skin cancer risk-reduction practices and attitudes among individuals with a family history of melanoma. The purpose of this study was to examine engagement in and correlates of sun protection, total cutaneous examination (TCE), and skin self-examination (SSE) among first-degree relatives (FDR) of individuals diagnosed with malignant melanoma (MM). Method. First degree relatives (N = 229) completed measures of engagement in TCE, SSE, and habitual sun protection, as well as measures of knowledge and attitudes about all three behaviors. Results. Slightly more than 50% of family members reported having TCE, and engagement in habitual sun protection was relatively low. Engagement in SSE was higher. Regression analyses revealed that physician recommendation and perceived barriers were consistent correlates of all three risk-reduction behaviors. Self-efficacy and normative influences were also associated with sun protection. Conclusions. Engagement in skin cancer risk-reduction practices among individuals with a family history of melanoma is relatively low. Interventions to improve acceptance would benefit from targeting both nonpsychological and psychological factors, particularly physician influence and perceived barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-47
Number of pages12
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2004



  • Family members
  • Malignant melanoma
  • Skin examinations
  • Sun protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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