Evaluation of sun-protective behaviors in transplant clinic patients: a longitudinal analysis

Henry W. Chen, Rajiv I. Nijhawan, Khang D. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organ transplant recipients (OTRs) are at a significantly elevated risk for developing cutaneous malignancies. In recent years, the advent of dermatology clinics dedicated to this specific patient population has aimed to provide increased access and specialized care, including important sun-protective behavior education. It has been shown that OTRs tend to have poor sun-protective practices, and care at these specialized dermatology clinics has facilitated an improvement in sun-protective behavior. Previously, sun-protective behavior of patients within these specialized clinics has been characterized longitudinally, though only for a short duration of 3 months. We retrospectively analyzed a cohort of 230 OTRs seen at a single academic institution’s transplant clinic between 2016–2020 and sought to characterize sun-protective behavior at baseline and longitudinally. 78 patients returned for at least one follow-up visit, and the median follow-up duration was 15.1 months (IQR 8.4–24.3 months). Sun-protective behavior was quantified using the average score of questions addressing sunscreen usage frequency, consistency, circumstance of application, reapplication, and sun avoidance. We utilized paired Wilcoxon signed-rank tests to analyze changes in sun-protective behavior between initial visits and subsequent follow-up visits. Sun-protective behavior was increased at the first follow-up visit (median change in sun-protective score − 0.04, p = 0.017) and second follow-up visit (median change in sun-protective score − 0.25, p = 0.026) compared to the initial visit. Multivariable logistic regression and mixed effects modeling were employed to quantify patient features associated with increased sun-protective behavior. Female sex [OR 3.79, 95% CI (1.83, 8.04)] and personal history of skin cancer [OR 3.06, 95% CI (1.25, 7.76)] were associated with stronger sun-protective behaviors at baseline. Female sex [OR 13.77, 95% CI (2.44, 77.52)] was the only characteristic associated with increased sun-protective behavior over time. Our findings identify patient characteristics that are associated with increased sun-protective behavior after education in a dermatology clinic dedicated to OTRs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Immunosuppression
  • Melanoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Sun protection
  • Transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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