Melanoma mortality rates in the US are highest among older men, individuals of lower socioeconomic status (SES), and people of color. To better understand these inequities, a qualitative exploratory study was conducted in Northern and Southern California to generate knowledge about barriers and facilitators of awareness, prevention, and early detection of melanoma in lower SES Latinx and non-Latinx White (NLW) individuals living in urban and semi-rural areas.Nineteen focus groups were conducted (N = 176 adult participants), stratified by race/ethnicity (Latinx, low-income NLW), geography (semi-rural, urban), and language (English and Spanish). Inductive and deductive thematic analysis was conducted, and the findings were organized using the socioecological model framework: individual, interpersonal, community, and health system/policy levels.Four socioecological themes describe how key factors affect knowledge, perceived risk, preventive behaviors, and melanoma screening. Individual level findings revealed that many participants were not familiar with melanoma, yet were willing to learn through trusted sources. Having brown or darker skin tone was perceived as being associated with lower risk for skin cancer. Interpersonally, social relationships were important influences for skin cancer prevention practice. However, for several Latinx and semi-rural participants, conversations about melanoma prevention did not occur with family and peers. At the community level, semi-rural participants reported distance or lack of transportation to a clinic as challenges for accessing dermatology care. Healthcare systems barriers included burdens of additional healthcare costs for dermatology visits and obtaining referral.Varying factors influence the awareness levels, beliefs, and behaviors associated with knowledge, prevention, and early detection of melanoma among low-income Latinx and NLW individuals and in semi-rural areas. Results have implications for health education interventions. Navigation strategies that target individuals, families, and health care settings can promote improved prevention and early detection of melanoma in these communities.
View details for DOI 10.1002/cam4.5457
View details for PubMedID 36433634