Prevalence and correlates of skin self-examination behaviors among melanoma survivors: A systematic review

Trishnee Bhurosy, Carolyn J. Heckman, Mary Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Melanoma is the most common cause of skin cancer deaths, and individuals who have had melanoma have an increased risk of developing new melanomas. Doing regular self-examinations of skin enables one to detect thinner melanomas earlier when the disease is more treatable. The aim of this systematic review is to characterize and evaluate the existing literature on the prevalence and correlates of skin self-examination (SSE) behaviors among adult melanoma survivors in the USA and Canada. A computerized literature search was performed using PubMed, Google Scholar, and ScienceDirect. The inclusion criteria for the studies were: (a) reported results for adult melanoma survivors in the USA or Canada, (b) papers described empirical research, (c) assessed SSE and related behaviors, and (d) papers were published in a peer-reviewed journal in the past 20 years. Key phrases such as "skin selfexamination/SSE in melanoma survivors in the United States"and "correlates of skin self-examination/SSE"were used. Based on the inclusion criteria, 30 studies were included in the systematic review. SSE prevalence varied depending on how SSE was defined. Demographics and factors (gender, education level, patient characteristics, partner assistance, and physician support) associated with SSE were identified. Findings of this review show evidence for the need to have a consistent way to assess SSE and suggest different types of correlates on which to focus in order to promote SSE and reduce the risk of melanoma recurrence in survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1120-1133
Number of pages14
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Correlates
  • Melanoma survivors
  • Skin self-examination
  • Systematic review


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