Background: There are limited data on the effectiveness of skin cancer prevention education and early detection programs at beaches.
Objectives: We evaluate 4 strategies for addressing skin cancer prevention in beach settings.
Methods: This prospective study at 4 beaches included 4 intervention conditions: (1) education only; (2) education plus biometric feedback; (3) education plus dermatologist skin examination; or (4) education plus biometric feedback and dermatologist skin examination. Outcomes included sun protection behaviors, sunburns, and skin self-examinations.
Results: There was a significant increase in hat wearing, sunscreen use, and a reduction in sunburns in the education plus biometric feedback group (odds ratio = 1.97, 1.94, and 1.07, respectively), and greater improvements in knowing what to look for in skin-self examinations (odds ratio = 1.13); there were no differences in frequency of self-examinations. Skin examinations plus biometric feedback led to greater reductions in sunburns. The dermatologist examinations identified atypical moles in 28% of participants.
Limitations: Inclusion of only one beach per condition, use of self-report data, and a limited intervention period are limitations.
Conclusions: Education and biometric feedback may be more effective than education alone for impacting sun protective attitudes and behaviors in beachgoing, high-risk populations.
Copyright Â© 2010 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.