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.
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.
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).
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.