Journal of Cancer Survivorship

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 279–286 | Cite as

Effects of web-based intervention on risk reduction behaviors in melanoma survivors

  • Deborah J. BowenEmail author
  • Wylie Burke
  • Jennifer L. Hay
  • Hendrika Meischke
  • Julie N Harris



Melanoma is the most severe form of skin cancer, and survivors of melanoma carry increased risk of additional melanoma diagnosis. Multiple methods exist for primary and secondary prevention of melanoma in survivors. This study tested a web-based family communication intervention to improve these preventive behaviors in melanoma families.


Families (a survivor, at least one first-degree relative and a parent) were randomized either to receive the intervention package or to serve as comparison families. We assessed melanoma prevention behaviors in each cohort member before and after the intervention. The intervention was a web-based multicomponent intervention focused on increasing family communication and exchange of risk information.


Results indicated that, compared to comparison survivors, intervention survivors improved their skin self-examination and their sun protection behaviors significantly from before to after intervention.


These data support the use of web-based interventions for behavioral changes in survivors and allow for consideration of dissemination of this successful intervention. These data have implications for interventions that can help cancer families deal with issues of risk and illness.

Implications for cancer survivors

These data indicate that survivors can benefit from exposure to a website that helps direct their future health behaviors.


Melanoma Prevention Web-based Family communication 


Conflict of interest

Authors Bowen, Burke, Hay, Meischke, and Harris declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Informed consent

“All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.”


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah J. Bowen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wylie Burke
    • 1
  • Jennifer L. Hay
    • 2
  • Hendrika Meischke
    • 3
  • Julie N Harris
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Bioethics and HumanitiesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health ServicesUniversity of Washington School of Public HealthSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Kaiser Permanente Northern CaliforniaDivision of ResearchOaklandUSA

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