Randomized controlled trial of the mySmartSkin web-based intervention to promote skin self-examination and sun protection behaviors among individuals diagnosed with melanoma: study design and baseline characteristics

Elliot J. Coups, Sharon L. Manne, Pamela Ohman Strickland, Michelle Hilgart, James S. Goydos, Carolyn J. Heckman, P. Chamorro, Babar K. Rao, M. Davis, Franz O. Smith, Frances P. Thorndike, L. M. Ritterband

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


>1.2 million people in the United States have a personal history of melanoma skin cancer and are at increased risk for disease recurrence and second primary melanomas. Many of these individuals do not follow recommendations to conduct regular, thorough skin self-examinations that facilitate early disease detection and do not sufficiently engage in sun protection behaviors. In this project, we are conducting a randomized controlled trial of an innovative, tailored, theory-driven Internet intervention—called mySmartSkin—to promote these behaviors among melanoma patients. This paper outlines the study design and characteristics of the study sample. A total of 441 patients were recruited (40.9% response rate) and randomized to the mySmartSkin or a Usual Care condition. Participants complete surveys at baseline and 8 weeks, 24 weeks, and 48 weeks later. The primary aim of the project is to examine the impact of mySmartSkin versus Usual Care on skin self-examination and sun protection behaviors. The secondary aim focuses on identifying mediators of the intervention's effects. In an exploratory aim, we will examine potential moderators of the impact of the intervention. At baseline, the recruited participants had a mean age of 61 years, 49% were female, 7.5% met criteria for having conducted a recent, thorough skin self-examination, and the mean score on the index of sun protection behaviors was 3.3 (on a scale from 1 to 5). The results of the project will determine whether the mySmartSkin intervention is efficacious in promoting skin self-examination and sun protection behaviors among individuals diagnosed with melanoma. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03028948

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-127
Number of pages11
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Intervention
  • Melanoma
  • Prevention
  • Skin cancer
  • Skin self-examination
  • Sun protection

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