Adherence to regular, thorough skin self-examination (SSE) and consistent sun protection behaviors among melanoma survivors is relatively low. This study reports on the impact of an online intervention, called mySmartSkin (MSS), on engagement in SSE and sun protection behaviors among melanoma survivors, as well as the mediators of the intervention effects. The intervention was compared with usual care (UC), and primary outcomes were assessed at 24 and 48 weeks. Short-term outcomes were also evaluated at 8 weeks postbaseline. Results demonstrate a significant effect on SSE and sun protection. At all three follow-up assessments, the proportion of participants reporting conducting a thorough SSE in the time since the previous assessment was significantly greater in MSS than in UC. In addition, both multivariate and univariate analyses indicated that engagement in sun protection behaviors was significantly higher in MSS than UC at 24 weeks, but the effect on sun protection at 48 weeks was significant only in multivariate analyses. Beneficial effects of MSS were significantly mediated by knowledge about melanoma and characteristics of suspicious lesions, as well as self-efficacy. Participant engagement in MSS was satisfactory, with approximately two-thirds of participants completing at least two of the three core components. Content was rated as highly trusted, easy to understand, easy to navigate, and helpful. In conclusion, MSS illustrated significant and durable effects on SSE and mixed results on sun protection. Future studies should consider ways to further enhance treatment effects and engagement in MSS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Melanoma survivors
- Online behavioral intervention
- Skin self-examination
- Sun protection