Weinstock MA, Rossi JS, Redding CA, Maddock JE.
Dermatoepidemiology Unit, VA Medical Center, USA.
BACKGROUND: Skin cancer is about as common as all other cancers combined and is preventable by sun protection. The most intense sun exposures often occur on the beach, so we chose this setting to test an intervention to affect sun protection behaviors.
METHODS: We developed a multicomponent stage-matched intervention for beachgoers and evaluated its efficacy in a randomized trial for influencing stage of change and self-reported behavior.
RESULTS: We randomized 2,324 persons ages 16 to 65 on the beach (83% of those approached). The intervention was effective in increasing self-reported sun protective behaviors. Effects were similar across gender and age groups.
CONCLUSIONS; The beach is a good site for recruitment and intervention to prevent skin cancer in high-risk populations. Our stage-matched intervention package was effective for increasing sun protective behaviors.