Agreement between self-assessment of melanocytic nevi by patients and dermatologic examination

Buettner, Petra G., and Garbe, Claus (2000) Agreement between self-assessment of melanocytic nevi by patients and dermatologic examination. American Journal of Epidemiology, 151 (1). pp. 72-77.

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The number of melanocytic nevi is the strongest risk factor for cutaneous melanoma. As pigmented skin lesions are visible to everybody, the question has been raised about whether people can identify themselves as being at risk for melanoma through self-counting of moles. In 1991, a total of 513 central European melanoma patients and 49B controls were asked to count the total number of nevi and the number of atypical nevi on the whole body. Whole-body examination by dermatologists followed. Agreement was assessed on categorized nevus counts by means of ordinal kappa values and log-linear modeling. Study subjects significantly underestimated the total number of melanocytic nevi (p < 0.0001). Chance-corrected overall agreement was rather poor (kappa = 0.14), and the ability to detect many existing nevi was low. Agreement was higher for atypical melanocytic nevi counts (kappa =0.37), and the sensitivity to detect more than one atypical nevus was 0.48. Self-assessment of the number of melanocytic nevi was difficult to perform accurately, and people severely underestimated the actual number. Despite these results, people should be encouraged to perform regular skin self-examination for early detection of melanoma.

Item ID: 12734
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1476-6256
Keywords: melanoma, nevus, validity
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2012 23:00
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders @ 100%
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