MelaNostrum: a consensus questionnaire of standardized epidemiologic and clinical variables for melanoma risk assessment by the melanostrum consortium

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2018 Dec;32(12):2134-2141. doi: 10.1111/jdv.15208. Epub 2018 Sep 14.


Background: Many melanoma observational studies have been carried out across different countries and geographic areas using heterogeneous assessments of epidemiologic risk factors and clinical variables.

Aim: To develop a consensus questionnaire to standardize epidemiologic and clinical data collection for melanoma risk assessment.

Methods: We used a stepwise strategy that included: compilation of variables from case-control datasets collected at various centres of the MelaNostrum Consortium; integration of variables from published case-control studies; consensus discussion of the collected items by MelaNostrum members; revision by independent experts; addition of online tools and image-based charts; questionnaire testing across centres and generation of a final draft.

Results: We developed a core consensus questionnaire (MelanoQ) that includes four separate sections: A. general and demographic data; B. phenotypic and ultraviolet radiation exposure risk factors and lifestyle habits; C. clinical examination, medical and family history; and D. diagnostic data on melanoma (cases only). Accompanying online tools, informative tables, and image-based charts aid standardization. Different subsections of the questionnaire are designed for self-administration, patient interviews performed by a physician or study nurse, and data collection from medical records.

Conclusions: The MelanoQ questionnaire is a useful tool for the collection and standardization of epidemiologic and clinical data across different studies, centres, cultures and languages. This will expedite ongoing efforts to compile high-quality data for pooled analyses or meta-analyses and offer a solid base for the design of clinical, epidemiologic and translational studies on melanoma.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Medical History Taking
  • Melanoma / diagnosis
  • Melanoma / epidemiology*
  • Radiation Exposure
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Ultraviolet Rays