Self management in atypical mole syndrome: qualitative findings from a pilot study

Patricia Wilson, Veronique Bataille, Ellen Klemera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Atypical mole syndrome (AMS) is the most significant risk factor for melanoma. Although the incidence of melanoma is rising, with early detection it is more likely to be curable. Regular systematic skin self-examination is vital, however there is little research exploring self-management behaviours in this population. Aim: This paper reports the qualitative findings of a mixed method study investigating the knowledge, self-management behaviours and experience of living with AMS. Method: Three focus groups were undertaken to explore the experiences, beliefs, strategies, and self-management facilitation in AMS. Discussions were recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. Results: A sense of anxiety in living with AMS was described, which was heightened by knowing someone who had been diagnosed with melanoma. Impact on life appeared greater for females, although males also discussed anxiety when causing trauma to moles. However, systematic skin self-examination was not regularly undertaken and there was a reliance on clinic visits to a dermatologist to check moles. Conclusion: There is a need to develop self-management interventions for this population to reduce anxiety and promote systematic skin self-examination. The potential of adapting interventions for AMS from other long-term conditions should be explored
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-46
JournalDermatological Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


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