Evaluation of skin cancer screening in Germany - Spatiotemporal associations between skin cancer screening and skin cancer mortality based on ambulatory claims data

Sandra Wolf, Matthias Augustin, Kristina Hagenström, Claudia Garbe, Hannah Baltus, Nora Eisemann, Joachim Hübner, Alexander Katalinic, Jobst Augustin


BACKGROUND: There are regional differences in skin cancer screening uptake in Germany. So far, it is unclear whether a high uptake of screening services leads to a reduction in mortality. This article presents study results on the investigation of spatiotemporal associations between skin cancer screening and mortality. The methods used are discussed regarding their suitability.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The basis is ambulatory claims data on the utilization of early skin cancer detection as well as data on skin cancer mortality from the cause-of-death statistics of the years 2011-2015 at county level in Germany. In addition to a descriptive evaluation, spatiotemporal cluster analyses and regression models were used to investigate the relationship between the uptake of early detection and mortality. In addition to age, adjustments were also made for other selected socio-economic and socio-graphical variables.

RESULTS: The descriptive results show striking spatial patterns of skin cancer screening and mortality. Cluster analyses identified regions with significantly higher and lower cases of early detection and skin cancer mortality. The spatiotemporal regression analyses show no clear association. Only early detection by a dermatologist, adjusted for age, shows an association with mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: No clear association between early skin cancer detection and mortality can be derived from the results. However, the study design used with a spatiotemporal cluster and regression analysis has shown that these methods allow in-depth statements about the relationship between early skin cancer detection and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft = Journal of the German Society of Dermatology : JDDG
Issue numberS5
Pages (from-to)22-31
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 12.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)
  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)
  • Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-02 Public Health, Health Services Research and Social Medicine

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