To examine the impact of a skin cancer prevention intervention that promoted sunless tanning as a substitute for sunbathing.
Randomized controlled trial.
Public beaches in Massachusetts.
Women (N = 250) were recruited to participate in the study during their visit to a public beach.
The intervention included motivational messages to use sunless tanning as an alternative to UV tanning, instructions for proper use of sunless tanning products, attractive images of women with sunless tans, a free trial of a sunless tanning product, skin cancer education, and UV imaging. The control participants completed surveys.
Main Outcome Measures
The primary outcome was sunbathing 2 months and 1 year after the intervention. Secondary outcomes included sunburns, sun protection use, and sunless tanning.
At 2 months, intervention participants reduced their sunbathing significantly more than did controls and reported significantly fewer sunburns and greater use of protective clothing. At 1 year, intervention participants reported significant decreases in sunbathing and increases in sunless tanning relative to control participants but no differences in the other outcomes.
This intervention, which promoted sunless tanning as an alternative to UV tanning, had a short-term effect on sunbathing, sunburns, and use of protective clothing and a longer-term effect on sunbathing and sunless tanning.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: locator="http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00403377">NCT00403377