Melanoma prevention is essential for children who are at elevated risk for the disease due to family history. However, children who carry a familial risk for the disease do not optimally adhere to recommended melanoma preventive behaviors. The current study sought to identify perceived barriers to and facilitators of children’s engagement in melanoma preventive behaviors among children at elevated risk for melanoma due to family history of the disease (i.e., having a parent with a history of melanoma) from both parents’ and childrens’ perspectives. Qualitative methods were employed and consisted of separate focus group discussions with children (ages 8–17 years, n = 37) and their parents (n = 39). Focus group transcripts were coded using content analysis. Parents and children reported a number of barriers and facilitators, including on the individual (e.g., knowledge and awareness, preferences), social (e.g., peer influences, family modeling and communication), and contextual (e.g., healthcare provider communication) levels. The identified categories of barriers and facilitators both confirm and extend the literature documenting the reasons children who are at elevated risk for melanoma do not engage in melanoma prevention and control behaviors. Programs aiming to decrease melanoma risk among children of melanoma survivors could help families address their barriers to preventive behavior implementation and build on facilitators. Melanoma survivors and their children could benefit from support on their interactions with healthcare providers, schools, peers, and other caregivers about melanoma prevention.
- Disease risk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health