Year 2021
October 2021


Abstract Title
Sun behaviour patterns and dermatology life quality index (DLQI) among cutaneous SCC in organ transplant recipients and non-organ transplant patients.



Singapore General Hospital1

Background & Hypothesis

Organ transplant recipients are at higher risk of developing cutaneous malignancies such as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). As sun exposure is a risk factor for SCC, sun-protection is of utmost importance in organ transplant recipients. Sun behaviour has not been reported in transplant patients in Singapore. We sought to document the sun behaviour patterns and dermatology quality of life among cutaneous SCC patients who were organ transplant recipients and non-organ transplant patients.


55 adults with SCC who were seen at the dermatology clinic at a tertiary hospital were surveyed regarding sun behaviour (midday sun exposure, photoprotective clothing and sunscreen) and history of a full-body skin check. They also completed the dermatology life quality index (DLQI) questionnaire.


Univariate analysis revealed significant association between transplant status and having undergone a full-body skin check by a dermatologist (X2(1)=3.971, p=0.046).There was no statistically significant difference between sun behaviour patterns (hours spent in midday sun, use of sunscreen, umbrellas, sunglasses or shirt covering shoulders) in SCC patients who were organ transplant recipients versus those who were not transplant recipients. DLQI scores were low in both groups.


Discussion & Conclusion

Our findings demonstrate that more transplant recipients undergo skin checks by a dermatologist. This is possibly due to increased awareness amongst transplant physicians regarding cutaneous malignancies following organ transplant, prompting referrals to dermatologists. Sun protection behaviour patterns were similar in both groups, which needs further improvement.  Skin cancers did not affect DLQI in both groups, possibly due to the localized nature of the skin tumours.