“Melanoma: Questions and Answers.” Development and evaluation of a psycho-educational resource for people with a history of melanoma

Nadine A. Kasparian*, Shab Mireskandari, Phyllis N. Butow, Mbathio Dieng, Anne E. Cust, Bettina Meiser, Kristine Barlow-Stewart, Scott Menzies, Graham J. Mann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: People with melanoma often report pervasive fears about cancer recurrence, unmet information needs, and difficulties accessing psychological care. Interventions addressing the supportive care needs of people with melanoma are rare, and needs are often overlooked. The study evaluated a newly developed, evidence-based, psycho-educational resource for people with melanoma. Methods: The evaluation study comprised three groups: adults at high risk of new primary disease due to multiple previous melanomas or one melanoma and dysplastic nevus syndrome (DNS), adults at moderate risk due to one previous melanoma and no DNS, and health professionals involved in melanoma care. Participants evaluated a 68-page psycho-educational booklet, Melanoma: Questions and Answers, developed by a multidisciplinary team in accordance with published evidence, clinical guidelines, and intervention development frameworks. The booklet comprised seven modules featuring information on melanoma diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and ongoing clinical management; risk factors and the role of genetic counseling services for melanoma; psycho-education on emotional, behavioral, and cognitive responses to melanoma, including psycho-education on fear of cancer recurrence; description of healthy coping responses; a suite of tailored tools to support skin self-examination, doctor-patient communication, and identification of the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression; a list of community-based services and resources; and tools to support melanoma-related record keeping and monitoring. Resource acceptability, relevance, quality, dissemination preferences, emotional responses, unmet information needs, and demographic characteristics were assessed. Results: Nineteen melanoma survivors (response rate 50 %) and 10 health professionals (response rate 83 %) evaluated the resource. Responses were overwhelmingly positive; the booklet was thoroughly read and highly rated in terms of quality and quantity of information, utility of health education tools, and capacity to address unmet needs. Ninety-five percent of melanoma survivors would recommend the booklet to others. Most preferred a paper-based format, provided by their treating doctor at diagnosis. Conclusions: Melanoma: Questions and Answers was feasible and acceptable and demonstrated a strong capacity to address the information and psycho-educational needs of people with melanoma at low fiscal cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4849-4859
Number of pages11
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • melanoma
  • psychological stress
  • intervention
  • education
  • fear of cancer recurrence
  • survivorship


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