A randomised trial of population screening for melanoma

Aitken, J. F., Elwood, J. M., Lowe, J. B., Firman, D. W., Balanda, K. P. and Ring, I. T. (2002) A randomised trial of population screening for melanoma. Journal of Medical Screening, 9 1: 33-37. doi:10.1136/jms.9.1.33

Author Aitken, J. F.
Elwood, J. M.
Lowe, J. B.
Firman, D. W.
Balanda, K. P.
Ring, I. T.
Title A randomised trial of population screening for melanoma
Journal name Journal of Medical Screening   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0969-1413
Publication date 2002-04-27
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/jms.9.1.33
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 9
Issue 1
Start page 33
End page 37
Total pages 5
Language eng
Subject 2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Abstract Objectives: Melanoma is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and incidence is increasing. Survival after treatment is inversely related to the thickness of the tumour at diagnosis. Population screening has the potential to reduce mortality but there is no conclusive evidence of benefit. Such evidence can come best from a randomised trial. Here we describe the design of a community based randomised trial of a population screening programme for melanoma in Queensland, Australia and early results of the first phase of the trial. Methods: A total of 44 communities (aggregate population 560 000 adults aged 30 years or more) will be randomised to receive either a community based screening programme for 3 years or normal practice. The screening programme promotes thorough skin self examination and whole body skin examination by a doctor and provides open access skin cancer screening clinics. In its first phase, the trial is underway in nine intervention and nine control communities. The primary outcome measure is mortality from melanoma during 15 years of follow up. Results: The first phase of the trial has shown the feasibility of implementing a population skin screening programme including regular skin cancer screening clinics, and has shown the strong support of communities and doctors for the programme. There has been a significant 2.5-fold increase in participation in screening in the intervention communities in this first phase after the first 12 months of the trial and no significant increase in participation in screening in control communities during this period. Conclusions: The design of a community based randomised trial of screening for melanoma has been successfully peer reviewed and the intervention has been shown to be feasible in practice. This randomised trial may be one of the last opportunities to develop the evidence required for public health recommendations for population screening for melanoma.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import - Archived
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Created: Fri, 26 Jan 2018, 00:23:32 EST