Randomized controlled trial of a web-based indoor tanning intervention: Acceptability and preliminary outcomes

Health Psychol. 2015 Dec;34S(0):1278-85. doi: 10.1037/hea0000254.


Objective: This article describes the acceptability and preliminary behavioral outcomes of a pilot randomized control trial of a web-based indoor tanning intervention for young adult women. The intervention targets indoor tanning users' perceptions of the benefits and value of tanning and addresses the role of body image-related constructs in indoor tanning.

Method: Participants were 186 young adult women who reported indoor tanning at least once in the past 12 months. The study design was a 2-arm randomized controlled trial with pre- and postintervention assessments and random assignment to an intervention or control condition. Intervention acceptability was assessed by obtaining participants' evaluation of the intervention. Regression analyses were used to test for intervention condition differences in preliminary behavioral outcomes measured at 6 weeks postintervention.

Results: Participants provided favorable evaluations of the intervention on several dimensions and a highly positive overall rating. Intervention participants were more likely to report abstaining from indoor tanning and indicated a lower likelihood of using indoor tanning in the future compared with control participants on the postintervention assessment. No differences were found for sunburns.

Conclusions: The results of this pilot randomized controlled trial provide evidence that the indoor tanning intervention is acceptable to participants and may encourage cessation of indoor tanning behavior. The findings provide preliminary support for an indoor tanning intervention that engages tanners to challenge their beliefs about the benefits of indoor tanning. The use of a web-based indoor tanning intervention is unique and provides strong potential for dissemination.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Skin Neoplasms / psychology
  • Sunbathing / psychology*
  • Sunburn / prevention & control
  • Sunburn / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult