Skin Neoplasms | A Tailored Internet Intervention to Reduce Skin Cancer Risk Behaviors Among Young Adults

Skin Neoplasms research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US, with over a million new cases diagnosed yearly. Young adults are increasingly at risk of melanoma. Contributing to the increasing skin cancer risk is the fact that US adolescents have the lowest skin protection rates of all age groups and also demonstrate increased exposure to natural and artificial UV radiation. Innovative interventions are needed to have an impact on skin cancer risk among young people. Unlike previous interventions, our skin cancer risk reduction intervention will be tailored (or personalized) to each individual participant and delivered via the Internet. The intervention will emphasize appearance concerns, which are known to be the primary motivation for UV exposure and lack of skin protection among young adults. This will be accomplished in part through the use of personalized facial images showing UV damage as well as computerized age progression demonstrations. Primary Aim 1. To examine the efficacy of a tailored intervention delivered via the Internet designed to increase skin protection and decrease sun exposure behavior among young adults at moderate to high risk of developing skin cancer. Participants will be randomized to the tailored intervention, the Skin Cancer Foundation website, or an assessment only condition. Aim 2. To evaluate whether sociodemographic variables (sex, race/ethnicity, skin type, family history of skin cancer), appearance consciousness, and past exposure and protective behaviors moderate intervention effects. Aim 3. To evaluate whether Integrative Model constructs (UV-related knowledge, risk perception, beliefs, norms, self-efficacy, and intentions) mediate intervention effects. The goals of future research would be to enhance the tailored intervention, for example, by adding additional contacts or Internet technologies or features, disseminate the intervention, assess the longevity of effects, and/or adapt the tailored intervention for use with other cancer risk behaviors or at risk groups.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - Age 18-25 years old - Moderate to high risk of skin cancer (cut-off of >=27 on the Brief Skin Cancer Risk Assessment Tool) Exclusion Criteria: - History of skin cancer

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Skin Neoplasms

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Behavioral:UV4meTailored website includes: personalized responses to quizzes, information on skin type and burn risk, UV damage photo of similar individual, avatar activity, age progression images, personal risk calculator, SPF (sun protection factor) calculator

Behavioral:Skin Cancer Foundation websiteCurrent best practice website for skin cancer and prevention. Includes information, images, news, and opportunities for advocacy.

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

Tailored InterventionSubject has access to the tailored web intervention

Skin Cancer Foundation WebsiteSubject has access to the pre-existing Skin Cancer Foundation website

Assessment Only ConditionSubjects will only complete assessments

Study Status


Start Date: March 2011

Completed Date: October 2014

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Sun protection

Secondary Outcome: Indoor Tanning

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Carolyn Heckman, Ph.D

Lead Sponsor: Fox Chase Cancer Center

Collaborator: National Cancer Institute (NCI)

More information:

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