Tailored versus generic interventions for skin cancer risk reduction for family members of melanoma patients

Sharon Manne, Paul B. Jacobsen, Michael E. Ming, Gary Winkel, Sophie Dessureault, Stuart R. Lessin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Improving strategies for risk reduction among family members of patients with melanoma may reduce their risk for melanoma. Objective: To evaluate the effects of two behavioral interventions designed to improve the frequency of total cutaneous skin examination by a health provider (TCE), skin self-examination (SSE), and sun protection among first degree relatives of patients with melanoma; and to evaluate whether increased intentions, increased benefits, decreased barriers, and improved sunscreen self-efficacy mediated the effects of the tailored intervention, as compared with the generic intervention on TCE, SSE, or sun protection. Methods: Four hundred forty-three family members (56 parents, 248 siblings, 239 children) who were nonadherent with these practices were randomly assigned to either a generic (N = 218) or a tailored intervention (N = 225) which included 3 print mailings and 1 telephone session. Participants completed measures of TCE, SSE, and sun protections at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year, and measures of intentions, benefits, barriers, and self-efficacy at baseline and 6 months. Results: Those enrolled in the tailored intervention had almost a twofold increased probability of having a TCE (p < .0001). Treatment effects in favor of the tailored intervention were also noted for sun protection habits (p < .02). Increases in TCE intentions mediated the tailored intervention's effects on TCE. Increases in sun protection intentions mediated effects of the tailored intervention's effect on sun protection. Conclusions: Tailored interventions may improve risk reduction practices among family members of patients with melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-593
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Family members
  • Intervention
  • Melanoma patients
  • Skin examination
  • Sun protection


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