Objective: To improve the proportion of men 50 years or older who conduct a thorough whole-body skin self-examination (SSE), because these men are at increased risk of being diagnosed as having thick melanomas and dying of melanoma.
Design: Randomized trial of a video-based intervention to increase whole-body SSE compared with brochures-only control.
Setting: Men from an Australian population register.
Participants: The study included 930 men 50 years or older.
Intervention: The men were randomly assigned to receive either written materials only (control) or written materials along with a DVD or video and 2 postcard reminders (intervention). Telephone interviews were conducted at baseline and at 7 and 13 months.
Main outcome measure: The proportion of men who conducted a whole-body SSE with the help of 2 mirrors and/or a person to assist with difficult-to-see areas.
Results: Compared with baseline (10%), by 13 months both groups had increased their whole-body SSE behaviors similarly (36% intervention and 31% control) (P = .85). At 7 months, the intervention group was significantly more likely to examine at least 1 part of their back (P < .001) and to examine a greater number of body sites (P < .001). At 7 months, the proportion of men conducting any SSE increased by 28% in the intervention group compared with 13% in the control group (P < .001), but at 13 months, the prevalence of any self-examination (83% vs 80%) was again similar.
Conclusion: While men 50 years or older are responsive to appropriately targeted intervention materials to increase their SSE behaviors, the addition of a video or DVD to written materials had only a transient advantage for optimal SSE practices.
Trial registration: anzctr.org.au Identifier: 12608000384358.