HealthDay News — A brief intervention delivered by dermatologists is associated with improvements in patients’ sun protection behavior as well as their satisfaction with dermatologists’ communication, according to a study published online Aug. 8 in JAMA Dermatology.

Kimberly A. Mallett, PhD, from Pennsylvania State University in University Park, and colleagues examined the association of a brief dermatologist-delivered intervention in 77 patients, vs usual care in 82 patients, with patient satisfaction and sun protection behavior. The intervention took less than 3 minutes and consisted of 6 components targeting sun risk and protective behaviors. It was delivered during a skin exam or the suturing phase of skin cancer surgery.

The researchers found that patients in the intervention group rated dermatologist-patient communication more positively than did patients in the control group. Furthermore, fewer patients in the intervention group reported at least one sunburn one month after the intervention vs usual care patients (18 vs 35%). However, at three-month follow-up there were no differences in reported sunburns. At three months, patients in the intervention group reported increased use of sunscreen compared with the usual care patients (face: intervention increased 12% and control decreased 4%; body: intervention increased 12% and control decreased 1%; reapplication: intervention increased 15% and control remained stable).

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“The study provided evidence that a brief (<3 minutes) dermatologist-delivered intervention was associated with patients’ sun protection behavior across several months,” the authors write.

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