Prevalence of Opportunistic Melanoma Screening in New Zealand

This paper quantifies the prevalence of opportunistic melanoma screening in New Zealand in 2008

Published online: 
03 September 2010
Document cover.

New Zealand has the 2nd highest melanoma incidence rate (ASR 38.8 per
100,000 in 2005) worldwide.

  • The total rate of melanoma has been increasing over the past decade.
  • Skin screening is one way of achieving early diagnosis of melanoma, and although there is no substantial evidence of its effectiveness, it is being conducted in some populations opportunistically.
  • This project was undertaken to describe the prevalence of, and factors associated with, opportunistic screening for melanoma in primary care in New Zealand.
  • Participants were randomly selected from the general electoral rolls and were aged between 40 and 74 years old.
  • The samples were weighted towards Maori and male participants.
  • Three skin examination outcome variables (all complete skin examinations, complete skin examinations in primary care, and screening skin examinations in primary care) covering 2 different time periods (in 2008 or in the 5 years prior to 2008, i.e. 2003-2007) were collected.
  • The consent rate was 79% in non-Maori and 75% in Maori.
  • 22% of participants had a skin examination in 2008 and about a third of these (7%) were screening skin examinations in primary care.
  • Non-Maori and older people had a higher prevalence of skin examinations.
  • In multivariate analysis of all skin examinations in 2008, ethnicity was only of borderline significance after adjustment for hair colour and other factors.
  • Natural hair colour as a teen was the most important phenotypic predictor of having a skin examination in 2008 and in the previous 5 years.
  • After other factors were adjusted for, ethnicity was not a significant determinant of having a screening skin examination in the previous 5 years.
  • Participants with a university qualification were almost 2.5 times more likely tohave had a screening skin examination in the previous 5 years than those with no post-school qualification

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    03 September 2010
  • ISBN:
    978-0-478-36686-0 (online)
  • HP number:
    5238
  • Citation:
    National Screening Advisory Committee, 2010. Prevalence of Opportunistic Melanoma Screening in New Zealand: A report for the National Screening Advisory Committee, Ministry of Health. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
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