The skin awareness study: promoting thorough skin self-examination for skin cancer among men 50 years or older

Contemp Clin Trials. 2010 Jan;31(1):119-30. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2009.11.003. Epub 2009 Nov 11.


Background: Incidence and mortality from skin cancers including melanoma are highest among men 50 years or older. Thorough skin self-examination may be beneficial to improve skin cancer outcomes.

Objectives: To develop and conduct a randomized-controlled trial of a video-based intervention to improve skin self-examination behavior among men 50 years or older.

Methods: Pilot work ascertained appropriate targeting of the 12-minute intervention video towards men 50 years or older. Overall, 968 men were recruited and 929 completed baseline telephone assessment. Baseline analysis assessed randomization balance and demographic, skin cancer risk and attitudinal factors associated with conducting a whole-body skin self-examination or receiving a whole-body clinical skin examination by a doctor during the past 12 months.

Results: Randomization resulted in well-balanced intervention and control groups. Overall 13% of men reported conducting a thorough skin self-examination using a mirror or the help of another person to check difficult to see areas, while 39% reported having received a whole-body skin examination by a doctor within the past 12 months. Confidence in finding time for and receiving advice or instructions by a doctor to perform a skin self-examination were among the factors associated with thorough skin self-examination at baseline.

Conclusions: Men 50 years or older can successfully be recruited to a video-based intervention trial with the aim to reduce their burden through skin cancer. Randomization by computer generated randomization list resulted in good balance between control and intervention group and baseline analysis determined factors associated with skin cancer early detection behavior.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Awareness*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / diagnosis
  • Melanoma / prevention & control*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Pilot Projects
  • Queensland
  • Self-Examination / methods*
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Skin*
  • Video Recording