The different psychological profiles of subjects attending melanoma screening campaigns and those delaying diagnosis: An aid for designing preventive campaigns?

Matilde Forghieri, Caterina Longo, Gian Maria Galeazzi, Marco Rigatelli, Stefania Seidenari, Giovanni Pellacani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Patient delay in seeking medical attention for melanoma (MM) constitutes one of the main challenges in designing prevention campaigns. No conclusive studies exploring psychological aspects of those patients, using standardized psychometric instruments, are currently available. We hypothesized that the attitude toward illness of subjects attending the melanoma screening day (EMD) would differ from patients diagnosed with MM following the usual clinical pathways. Five psychometric tests, assessing attitude toward illness, were administered both to EMD and MM groups, this latter further divided into two subgroups (good and bad detectors, GD and BD) considering the histo-clinical characteristics of the lesion. The Mann-Whitney U Test and Pearson Chi Square test were used to compare EMD patients with the other groups and to compare psychometric scores between GD and BD. BD and GD groups showed significant differences. Interestingly, the BD group was characterized by higher scores in Temperament and Character Inventory Fearful subscale, Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Powerful Others scale and Illness Behaviour Questionnaire General Hypochondriasis, Affective Disturbance and Irritability subscales. BD patients tend to react in a phobic manner to medical recommendations and they appear to favour external and more assertive help, which would suggest choosing a more direct approach in proposing a prevention campaign. Although this is a pilot study and further studies are needed, it gives new insight to build up more effective prevention campaigns for those patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-807
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Dermatology
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Euromelanoma day
  • Melanoma
  • Patient diagnostic delay
  • Preventive campaign
  • Psychological profile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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