BACKGROUND: The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends clinical counseling for individuals ages 10 to 24 years to decrease skin cancer risk. METHODS: A national, random sample of US American Academy of Pediatrics members practicing primary care in 2002 (response rate 55%) and 2015 (response rate 43%). Surveys explored attitudes and experiences regarding sun protection counseling; indoor tanning questions were added in 2015. ?2 tests compared demographics and counseling responses across years, and multivariable logistic regression models examined counseling predictors. RESULTS: More pediatricians in 2015 (34%) than in 2002 (23%) reported discussing sun protection during recent summer months with ≥75% of patients. This pattern held across all patient age groups (each P <.001). Female and suburban pediatricians counseled more; those in the South and West counseled less. More pediatricians in 2015 than in 2002 named time as a barrier. Sun protection ranked lowest among preventive topics in both years. In 2015, approximately one-third of pediatricians reported discussing indoor tanning at least once with 10 to 13 year-old patients; approximately half discussed this with older adolescents. Most (70%) did not know if their states had laws on minors' indoor tanning access; those stating they knew whether a law existed counseled more. CONCLUSIONS: Although improved, sun protection counseling rates remain low. Indoor tanning counseling can be improved. Because early-life exposure to UV radiation increases risk and clinician counseling can positively impact prevention behaviors, pediatricians have an important role in skin cancer prevention; counseling may save lives. Time constraints remain a barrier.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health