This paper quantifies the prevalence of opportunistic melanoma screening in New Zealand in 2008
03 September 2010
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