Melanoma is common, particularly among Non-Hispanic Whites (NHW). However, Hispanics are diagnosed at more advanced stages compared to NHW prompting the need for more research into Hispanic sun protection practices.
Sarah Davila, Klein Buendel collaborator and student from Claremont Graduate University, recently presented findings on family determinants of child sun protection from the Sun Safe Schools project at the virtual 2020 American Public Health Association conference. Family determinants of child sun protection have seldom been tested among Hispanics. The team hypothesized that parent sun protection behavior, perceived risk for skin cancer, skin-phenotype, and purchase of sun protection products, along with child skin-phenotype and interaction of child skin-phenotype with child ethnicity would associate with child sun protection behavior and child sunburn. To test this, parents of elementary school-aged children completed self-report surveys and a multilevel analysis was conducted with Hispanic and NHW parents nested within schools and nested within districts.
Parent sun protection behavior, number of sun-safe items purchased, and child skin-phenotype were all positively associated with child sun protection behavior, while parent perceived risk was negatively associated. The interaction of child skin-phenotype with child ethnicity was significant, indicating no difference at Type 1 skin-phenotype, but greater protective behavior for Hispanics relative to NHW for subsequent skin-phenotypes. Parent perceived risk and child skin-phenotype were also positively associated with child sunburn. Overall, the results suggest a need for parent modeling and environmental controls to increase sun protection behavior in Hispanic children.
This research was funded by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (HD074416; Dr. Kim Reynolds and Dr. David Buller, Multiple Principal Investigators). Other authors included Dr. Richard Meenan from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon; Dr. Jeff Ashley from Sun Safety for Kids in Los Angeles, California; Kim Massie previously from Claremont Graduate University; and Julia Berteletti, Mary Buller, and Lucia Liu from Klein Buendel.
Christie J. Rizzo, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at Northeastern University, and maintains an appointment as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. Dr. Rizzo is leading a collaboration with Klein Buendel to create a Spanish version of Project STRONG, a web-based dating violence prevention program for parents and middle school boys. The interactive, technolyg-delivered curriculum is grounded in Developmental Assets Theory which asserts that family support, knowledge, values development, and social skills are necessary for healthy development and offset the emergence of risky behavior. Project Strong is funded by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD097126; Dr. Christie Rizzo, Principal Investigator).
Dr. Rizzo received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern California. Much of her research focuses on the development and implementation of evidence-based, violence and risk behavior prevention programming for youth, including technology-based initiatives. She particularly focuses on vulnerable youth, such as those involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Dr. Rizzo was previously the Assistant Director of the Juvenile Mental Health Clinic at the Rhode Island Family Court. She now directs the Adolescent Relationships and Risk Behavior Lab at Northeastern University.
Along with Project STRONG, Dr. Rizzo’s current research projects include: 1) Dating Violence Prevention for Juvenile Justice Girls, and 2) Dating Violence Perpetration among Juvenile Justice Youth: The Role of Social, Behavioral, and Ecological Processes.
Dr. David Buller, Klein Buendel’s Director of Research, is a co-author on a paper published recently in Patient Education and Counseling that examines how health literacy skills impact primary care patients’ understanding of melanoma genetic testing results. The paper’s lead author is Dr. Kimberly Kaphingst from the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. Additional co-authors are from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico.
Making a significant health decision can be burdensome. It involves obtaining, processing, and weighing an abundance of new information. Personal health literacy skills may help lighten the load. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “personal health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.”
The Patient Education and Counseling paper describes the methods and measures used to examine whether health literacy skills, educational attainment, or melanoma risk were related to patients’ short-term cognitive and affective responses to personal melanoma genetic test results. Cognitive responses that were measured included perceived clarity and believability of the test results, and how often respondents thought about the test results. Affective reactions that were assessed included things like confusion, fear, hopefulness, relief, and regret, among others. Study results, conclusions, limitations, and implications are reported in the publication. Overall, the authors report that some individuals may need assistance in understanding genetic information related to melanoma risk.
This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute (CA181241; Dr. Jennifer Hay and Dr. Marianne Berwick, Multiple Principal Investigators) and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.
Skin cancer rates continue to rise in the United States, so health researchers continue to explore novel ways to reach people with potentially life-saving information. In a recent commentary published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Klein Buendel Senior Scientist, Dr. Barbara Walkosz, and co-authors discuss how tattoo studios and their aftercare instructions provide a unique opportunity to reach younger adults with skin cancer prevention recommendations.
Sun protection for new tattoos, to some degree, is provided to most clients as part of the tattoo aftercare process. However, most aftercare instructions focus on the protection of the client’s tattooed skin, not comprehensive full-body sun protection. Most artists are not prepared to impart thorough sun safety recommendations, “such as applying sunscreen prior to sun exposure with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, reapplying sunscreen when outdoors for more than two hours, using clothing that physically blocks ultraviolet rays, wearing wide-brimmed hats that shade the head, or seeking shade when available.”
However, research suggests that tattoo artists are interested in learning about sun safety measures and open to sharing the information with their clients. In the commentary, the authors pinpoint the unique opportunity tattoo studios provide to reach younger adults with public health information, including through studio websites and social media pages. The commentary also shares results from in-depth interviews with tattoo artists and describes how tattoo aftercare instructions vary from state to state.
This research team was funded by a grant and supplement from the National Cancer Institute (CA206569; Dr. Barbara Walkosz and Dr. Robert Dellavalle, Multiple Principal Investigators). Authors include Dr. Cristian Gonzalez from the Department of Dermatology at University of Colorado School of Medicine, Dr. Barbara Walkosz from Klein Buendel, and Dr. Robert Dellavalle from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center Dermatology Service.