Provider Education on Melanoma and Implementation of Risk Based Melanoma Screen in a New Rural Primary Care Setting

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Plantage, January
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Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was the implementation of a risk-based melanoma screen in a new rural primary care setting.|Background: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Melanoma is responsible for 9,000 deaths each year. Current estimates are one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime (Stern, 2010). Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, but it is also preventable in 9 out of 10 cases (Melanoma Research Foundation, n.d.). Primary care providers can influence the number of people who protect themselves by educating patients on sun protection and increasing awareness regarding skin cancer.|Sample/Setting: The project took place in a new rural primary care setting in the Midwest. A convenience sample was collected consisting of pediatric and adult patients ages 2-80 years old. The sample size was 120 patients seen within this clinic.|Methods: The design of this DNP project is quality improvement. Patients were identified through a self-administered questionnaire called the Self-Assessment of Melanoma Risk Scale (SAMScore). Interventions were recorded when the patient was identified as high-risk for melanoma. Educational material was created as a resource for providers and patients. These handouts were made available in the clinic which stressed the importance of skin cancer preventative strategies.|Results: Of the 120 screenings, only 7 of those screened at high-risk for melanoma were not followed up on with the barriers identified from the provider as insufficient time or no action taken. This is significant because this resulted in 94% of those who completed the questionnaire received some type of intervention such as dermatology referral, the patient already established with dermatology, skin check, patient education or hand out.|Conclusion: Healthcare providers in the rural primary care setting can utilize the SAMScore screening tool to facilitate the discussion of preventative strategies for skin cancer for high-risk populations. Informing patients their risk for disease may influence behavioral changes resulting in decreased diagnoses of melanoma.
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