Objective:To establish the prevalence and predictors of skin screening by general practitioners in regional Queensland. Design:Questionnaire administered to participants by professional interviewers via telephone. Participants and setting:Participants were 3100 adults aged ≥ 30 years (66.9% overall response rate), selected from residents of 18 regional Queensland communities with populations of between 2000 and 10 000 (as recorded in the 1996 Australian census). Within the last 10 communities surveyed, an additional telephone survey of 727 participants evaluated mole density. The survey was conducted between January and October 1998. Main outcome measure:Prevalence of whole-body skin examinations by GPs. Results:11% of participants reported a whole-body skin examination by a GP during the previous 12 months, and 20% during the previous 3 years. Men and women reported a similar prevalence of whole-body skin examinations. Factors associated with a significantly increased likelihood of having had a whole-body skin examination within the previous 3 years included a positive attitude towards skin screening, a personal history of non-melanoma skin cancer, a tendency to burn, and having more than four moles on the right upper arm. Conclusions:A substantial proportion of Queenslanders undergo skin screening. Those at highest risk for skin cancer are more likely to be screened.
Medical Journal of Australia / Vol. 180, No. 1, pp.10-15