Objective: Skin cancer is a major public health concern in the United States. Chiropractic physicians and interns need to recognize and refer patients with atypical moles and skin cancer. The purpose of this study was to test chiropractic interns about their current knowledge, practices, and perceptions of atypical moles and skin cancer.
Methods: This study was a cross-sectional study using chiropractic interns at 2 chiropractic colleges who received a 26-item survey that used a 5-point Likert scale involving close-ended questions regarding demographics, importance, knowledge, and clinical images regarding atypical moles and skin cancer. Frequencies and odds ratios (ORs) were generated using multiple regression models.
Results: A total of 217 surveys were collected in the study. The importance of skin cancer recognition as a predictor of practice patterns was examined. Interns who stated it was ï¿½important/very importantï¿½ to recognize skin cancer were slightly more likely to state they ï¿½frequently/alwaysï¿½ scanned patient's skin on the initial visit, were more likely to state they ï¿½frequently/alwaysï¿½ scanned on a treatment visit (OR = 3.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6-6.9), and stated they had noticed a mole that needed follow-up (OR = 3.04; 95% CI, 1.52-6.10). However, interns were no more likely to state they documented moles in the soap notes (OR = 1.38; 95% CI, 0.77-2.47) or to know the warning signs of melanoma (OR = 0.76; 95% CI, 0.40-1.46).
Conclusion: As skin cancer continues to increase in prevalence, chiropractic interns can serve in the primary screening process of patients with atypical moles; and chiropractic education should emphasize the opportunity to detect and assess atypical moles as a routine part of primary prevention in clinical education.
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