Study protocol: a randomised controlled trial of a theory-based online intervention to improve sun safety among Australian adults.BMC Cancer. 2014 Mar 07; 14:162.BC
The effects of exposure to ultraviolet radiation are a significant concern in Australia which has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world. Despite most skin cancers being preventable by encouraging consistent adoption of sun-protective behaviours, incidence rates are not decreasing. There is a dearth of research examining the factors involved in engaging in sun-protective behaviours. Further, online multi-behavioural theory-based interventions have yet to be explored fully as a medium for improving sun-protective behaviour in adults. This paper presents the study protocol of a randomised controlled trial of an online intervention based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) that aims to improve sun safety among Australian adults.
Approximately 420 adults aged 18 and over and predominantly from Queensland, Australia, will be recruited and randomised to the intervention (n = 200), information only (n = 200) or the control group (n = 20). The intervention focuses on encouraging supportive attitudes and beliefs toward sun-protective behaviour, fostering perceptions of normative support for sun protection, and increasing perceptions of control/self-efficacy over sun protection. The intervention will be delivered online over a single session. Data will be collected immediately prior to the intervention (Time 1), immediately following the intervention (Time 1b), and one week (Time 2) and one month (Time 3) post-intervention. Primary outcomes are intentions to sun protect and sun-protective behaviour. Secondary outcomes are the participants' attitudes toward sun protection, perceptions of normative support for sun protection (i.e. subjective norms, group norms, personal norms and image norms) and perceptions of control/self-efficacy toward sun protection.
The study will contribute to an understanding of the effectiveness of a TPB-based online intervention to improve Australian adults' sun-protective behaviour.
Australian and New Zealand Trials Registry number ACTRN12613000470796.