Skip to main content
An official website of the United States government
Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R01CA154928-04 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Heckman, Carolyn
Organization: Research Inst Of Fox Chase Can Ctr
Project Title: A Tailored Internet Intervention for Skin Cancer Risk Reduction in Young Adults
Fiscal Year: 2014


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US, with over a million new cases diagnosed yearly 1. Young adults, particularly women, are increasingly at risk of melanoma. Contributing to the increasing skin cancer risk among young adults is the fact that US adolescents have the lowest skin protection rates of all age groups 2 and also demonstrate increased exposure to natural and artificial UV radiation as they move into adulthood 3. Innovative interventions are needed to have an impact on skin cancer risk among young people. Unlike previous interventions, our skin cancer risk reduction intervention will be tailored (or personalized) to each individual participant and delivered via the Internet. The tailored intervention will emphasize appearance concerns, which are known to be the primary motivation for UV exposure and lack of skin protection among young adults. This will be accomplished in part through the use of personalized facial images showing UV damage as well as computerized age progression demonstrations. Primary Aim 1. To examine the efficacy of a tailored intervention delivered via the Internet designed to increase skin protection and decrease sun exposure behavior among young adults at moderate to high risk of developing skin cancer. Participants will be randomized to the tailored intervention, the Skin Cancer Foundation website, or an assessment only condition. Aim 2. To evaluate whether socio-demographic variables (sex, race/ethnicity, skin type, family history of skin cancer, education, socioeconomic status, and geographic locale), appearance consciousness, and past exposure and protective behaviors moderate intervention effects. Aim 3. To evaluate whether Integrative Model 4 constructs (UV-related knowledge, risk perception, beliefs, norms, self-efficacy, and intentions) mediate intervention effects. These mediators and the behavioral outcomes will be assessed at baseline as well as three weeks and three months post baseline. In the first stage of the project, the tailored intervention including interactive and multimedia materials will be developed and refined through acceptability and usability testing. In the second stage, the efficacy of the tailored intervention at improving UV exposure and protection behaviors will be evaluated in a randomized controlled trial conducted via the Internet. We will also establish moderators and mediators of intervention effects. The goals of future research would be to enhance the tailored intervention, for example, by adding additional contacts or Internet technologies or features, disseminate the intervention, assess the longevity of effects, and/or adapt the tailored intervention for use with other cancer risk behaviors or at risk groups.


Association of Skin Cancer Risk and Protective Behaviors with Health Literacy Among Young Adults in the USA.
Authors: Heckman C.J. , Auerbach M.V. , Darlow S. , Handorf E.A. , Raivitch S. , Manne S.L. .
Source: International journal of behavioral medicine, 2019 Aug; 26(4), p. 372-379.
PMID: 31147962
Related Citations

A hierarchical clustering approach to identify repeated enrollments in web survey data.
Authors: Handorf E.A. , Heckman C.J. , Darlow S. , Slifker M. , Ritterband L. .
Source: PloS one, 2018; 13(9), p. e0204394.
EPub date: 2018-09-25.
PMID: 30252908
Related Citations

Refinement of measures to assess psychosocial constructs associated with skin cancer risk and protective behaviors of young adults.
Authors: Heckman C.J. , Handorf E. , Darlow S.D. , Yaroch A.L. , Raivitch S. .
Source: Journal of behavioral medicine, 2017 Aug; 40(4), p. 574-582.
EPub date: 2017-02-02.
PMID: 28155000
Related Citations

An online skin cancer risk-reduction intervention for young adults: Mechanisms of effects.
Authors: Heckman C.J. , Handorf E.A. , Darlow S.D. , Ritterband L.M. , Manne S.L. .
Source: Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2017 Mar; 36(3), p. 215-225.
EPub date: 2016-11-07.
PMID: 27819460
Related Citations

Efficacy of an Intervention to Alter Skin Cancer Risk Behaviors in Young Adults.
Authors: Heckman C.J. , Darlow S.D. , Ritterband L.M. , Handorf E.A. , Manne S.L. .
Source: American journal of preventive medicine, 2016 Jul; 51(1), p. 1-11.
EPub date: 2016-01-22.
PMID: 26810358
Related Citations

Development of an Internet Intervention to Address Behaviors Associated with Skin Cancer Risk among Young Adults.
Authors: Heckman C. , Darlow S. , Munshi T. , Caruso C. , Ritterband L. , Raivitch S. , Fleisher L. , Manne S. .
Source: Internet interventions, 2015 Sep; 2(3), p. 340-350.
EPub date: 2015-05-06.
PMID: 26640776
Related Citations

Back to Top