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An investigation of the predictors of photoprotection and UVR dose to the face in patients with XP: a protocol using observational mixed methods

21 Aug 2017

Introduction

Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a rare genetic condition caused by defective nucleotide excision repair and characterised by skin cancer, ocular and neurological involvement. Stringent ultraviolet protection is the only way to prevent skin cancer. Despite the risks, some patients’ photoprotection is poor, with a potentially devastating impact on their prognosis. The aim of this research is to identify disease-specific and psychosocial predictors of photoprotection behaviour and ultraviolet radiation (UVR) dose to the face.

Methods and analysis

Mixed methods research based on 45 UK patients will involve qualitative interviews to identify individuals’ experience of XP and the influences on their photoprotection behaviours and a cross-sectional quantitative survey to assess biopsychosocial correlates of these behaviours at baseline. This will be followed by objective measurement of UVR exposure for 21 days by wrist-worn dosimeter and daily recording of photoprotection behaviours and psychological variables for up to 50 days in the summer months. This novel methodology will enable UVR dose reaching the face to be calculated and analysed as a clinically relevant endpoint. A range of qualitative and quantitative analytical approaches will be used, reflecting the mixed methods (eg, cross-sectional qualitative interviews, n-of-1 studies). Framework analysis will be used to analyse the qualitative interviews; mixed-effects longitudinal models will be used to examine the association of clinical and psychosocial factors with the average daily UVR dose; dynamic logistic regression models will be used to investigate participant-specific psychosocial factors associated with photoprotection behaviours.

Ethics and dissemination

This research has been approved by Camden and King’s Cross Research Ethics Committee 15/LO/1395. The findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international scientific conferences.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open