Counseling About Skin Cancer Prevention Among Adolescents: What Do Parents Receive From Health Care Providers?

Annie Laurie McRee, Darren Mays, Melanie L. Kornides, Melissa B. Gilkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose Adolescence is a high-risk period for ultraviolet radiation exposure, a primary cause of skin cancer later in life. We sought to characterize receipt of health care provider-delivered counseling about skin cancer prevention (SCP) among parents of adolescents. Methods In 2016, we conducted an online survey with a national sample of parents of adolescents aged 11–17 years (n = 1,253). Multivariable logistic regression assessed correlates of receiving counseling from a health care provider about any of the six skin cancer prevention (SCP) topics. Results Only half (49%) of parents recalled discussing any SCP topic with their child's provider; the prevalence was highest for sunscreen (39%) and lowest for indoor tanning (3%). Parents had greater odds of receiving counseling if they had a child with more sun-reactive skin (odds ratio [OR] = 1.53); a family history of skin cancer (OR = 1.38); or a higher quality relationship with the provider (OR = 1.47; all p <.05). Conclusions Greater attention to SCP counseling is needed, especially for exposures such as indoor tanning that remain prevalent among adolescents but are rarely addressed in clinical encounters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-536
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute ( K22 CA186979 ). The funder played no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine


  • Adolescents
  • Anticipatory guidance
  • Preventive services
  • Skin cancer


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