Counseling on sun protection and indoor tanning

Sophie J. Balk, Elizabeth A. Gottschlich, Dawn M. Holman, Meg Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20171680
JournalPediatrics
Volume140
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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Balk, S. J., Gottschlich, E. A., Holman, D. M., & Watson, M. (2017). Counseling on sun protection and indoor tanning. Pediatrics, 140(6), [e20171680]. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-1680