Background: Skin self-examination (SSE) training interventions can increase understanding of melanoma early detection criteria and promote SSE. However, there remains a need to evaluate whether intervention participants can apply such early detection skills to accurately identify concerning, or potentially malignant, pigmented lesions during full body SSE. Methods: We assessed SSE accuracy using data from a randomized control trial of a SSE skills training intervention designed to promote partner-assisted SSE among melanoma patients. In the trial, patient-partner pairs were administered the training intervention and performed monthly SSE to identify, evaluate, and track concerning pigmented skin lesions. Patients received a total body skin examination by a dermatologist approximately 4- months postintervention. SSE accuracy was assessed as the correspondence between the specific concerning pigmented lesions identified by 274 study pairs during SSE with those identified during dermatological examination. We also examined whether lesions that were biopsied during the study were identified prior to biopsy during SSE. Results: Approximately three in four of the concerning lesions identified by pairs during SSE were also identified during the dermatological exam. There were 81 biopsies performed during the study and pairs had identified 73% of the corresponding lesions during SSE. Of the five melanoma detected, three were identified during SSE. Conclusion: Melanoma patients and partner taught to do SSE using an evidence-based program developed a high degree of correspondence with the study dermatologist in identifying concerning lesions. Impact: This study provides novel evidence that supports the accuracy of full-body SSE for the patient identification of concerning lesions.
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