Improving short-term sun safety practices among adolescent survivors of childhood cancer: a randomized controlled efficacy trial
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- Mays, D., Black, J.D., Mosher, R.B. et al. J Cancer Surviv (2011) 5: 247. doi:10.1007/s11764-011-0177-7
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Skin cancer is one of the most common secondary neoplasms among childhood cancer survivors. However, little evidence exists for effective interventions to promote sun safety behaviors within this population.
This small-scale randomized controlled trial examined the efficacy of the Survivor Health and Resilience Education (SHARE) Program intervention, a multiple health behavior change intervention designed to increase sun safety practices among adolescent survivors of childhood cancer. Adolescent survivors of childhood cancer (11–21 years) were randomly allocated to a group-based behavioral intervention (n = 38) or wait-list control (n = 37). Self-reported sun safety behaviors were assessed using a valid, 8-item scale at baseline and 1-month post-intervention.
Controlling for baseline sun safety, gender, and seasonal influences, intervention participants reported significantly more sun safety practices (e.g., using sunscreen, reapplying sunscreen regularly) at 1-month post-intervention than control participants (B = 2.64, 95% CI = 1.02, 4.27, p = 0.002).
The results suggest that SHARE was efficacious in producing improvements in short-term self-reported sun safety practices among adolescent survivors of childhood cancer. Future research is needed to build upon this work by incorporating objective measures of sun safety behaviors and examining intervention durability.
Implications for cancer survivors
Behavioral interventions addressing lifestyle factors, including sun safety behaviors, among adolescent survivors of childhood cancer should be integrated into long-term care to reduce the risk for secondary malignancies and diseases.