Cutaneous melanoma is strongly associated with tanning bed use.
To describe local residents' knowledge, attitudes, and behavior regarding skin cancer and tanning bed use and to estimate prevalence of high risk for melanoma.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A survey was mailed to 886 local residents (549, aged 18–39 years; 337, aged ≥40 years). Logistic and linear regression and univariate and multivariable analysis were used to assess perceived risk and skin cancer knowledge.
The response rate was 21%; 55% of the younger group and 37% of the older group had used indoor tanning, and prevalence of high risk for melanoma according to a skin cancer risk calculator was 18% in the younger group and 33% in the older group. Individuals with high risk scores were more likely to correctly perceive that they were at high risk for skin cancer. Most participants with high risk scores and those who previously used tanning beds reported low likelihood of future indoor tanning.
Female sex, high risk score, and previous indoor tanning were associated with participants' views of higher skin cancer risk. No specific knowledge gaps were identified. Understanding community residents' attitudes about skin cancer and indoor tanning can help guide interventions.