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The Under Cover Skin Cancer Prevention Project: A community-based program in four Texas cities

The Under Cover Skin Cancer Prevention Project: A community-based program in four Texas cities

Cancer 75(2 Suppl. ): 657-660

Background: Although behavioral research has contributed much to our understanding of tobacco use and the development and evaluation of theory-based prevention strategies, the increasing incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer continues to receive far less, but deserving, attention. Methods: The Under Cover Skin Cancer Prevention Project represents a unique community awareness and education program that utilizes media partners in four Texas cities to disseminate ultraviolet (UV) radiation readings four times daily, along with education and behavioral change messages. Designed to change knowledge and attitudes about ultraviolet radiation exposure while promoting risk-reduction strategies, the program includes UV solar meters linked via telephone modem to provide continuous monitoring of UV exposure. Results: Telephone survey results conducted during the summers of 1992 and 1993 (n = 1200 and 400, respectively) are part of a trend analysis study designed to access knowledge, attitude, and belief variables. Findings reveal that the general public, while knowledgeable of the sun's dangers, are less likely to practice prevention because of peer pressure and social norms favoring a tanned, "healthy" look. Trend data indicates that the media partner concept is an effective means for creating community awareness. Conclusions: Community-based programs utilizing media partners along with interventions that address issues of social norms and peer pressure appear to be effective strategies for increasing skin cancer prevention strategies among the general population. Long term, theory-based intervention strategies designed to test this media-based approach with a case-control, longitudinal design are needed.

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Accession: 009538398

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PMID: 7804991

DOI: 10.1002/1097-0142(19950115)75:2+<657::aid-cncr2820751407>3.0.co;2-p

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