Background: For patients with xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), the main means of preventing skin and eye cancers is extreme protection against ultraviolet radiation (UVR), particularly for the face. We have recently developed a methodology for objectively measuring photoprotection behaviour ( € UVR dose to facial skin') and have found that the degree of photoprotection varies greatly between patients with XP. We have previously identified factors affecting photoprotection behaviour in XP using a subjective measure of photoprotection. Here, we have used this objective methodology to identify the factors which determine photoprotection behaviour in XP. Methods: We studied 29 psychological, social, demographic and clinical variables in 36 patients with XP. We have previously objectively measured UVR protection (by measuring the dose of UVR reaching the skin of the face over a 3-week period) in these patients. Here, we use linear mixed-effects model analysis to identify the factors which lead to the differences in degree of photoprotection observed in these patients. Results: Psychosocial factors accounted for as much of the interindividual variation in photoprotection behaviour (29%) as demographic and clinical factors (24%). Psychosocial factors significantly associated with worse UVR protection included: automaticity of the behaviours, and a group of beliefs and perceptions about XP and photoprotection known to associate with poor treatment adherence in other diseases. Conclusions: We have identified factors contributing to poor photoprotection in XP. Identifying these potentially reversible psychosocial features has enabled us to design an intervention to improve photoprotection in patients with XP, aiming to prevent skin and eye cancers in these patients.
- disorders of environmental origin
- DNA damage
- DNA repair