Acceptability of online sun exposure awareness-raising interventions among young Australian women: An exploratory mixed-methods study

Donna Hughes-Barton, Amanda Hutchinson, Ivanka Prichard, Carlene Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Melanoma is the most common cancer among young Australians. Despite school-based programs such as 'Sun Smart' leading to increased knowledge among children of the harmful effects of sun exposure, many young adults continue to desire a darker skin tone because of a general perception among their peers that tanned skin is attractive. This 'tanned-ideal' may be challenged through exposure to material posted on social media. This study aimed to investigate the impact of two online interventions on knowledge of skin cancer and intentions to engage in sun tanning and protective behaviours, as assessed by survey. In addition, the likelihood that the intervention would be 'shared' on social media was explored by interview during an intervention session. Eighteen women aged 18-24 years participated in this pilot, mixed-methods intervention study. Participants completed surveys 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after attending an intervention session in which they viewed a video and completed a face-aging activity, with the order of completion balanced within the sample. Two weeks after the intervention, there was a significant increase in knowledge and intended sun protection behaviours and a significant decrease in intended future tanning hours. There was no effect of intervention order. Interview data indicated that younger participants would share the ageing application with peers because it was fun; older participants reported that they would share the video because it was educational. Factors that encourage sharing on social media include being realistic, instructive or personally meaningful, and short in duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-383
Number of pages10
JournalHealth promotion international
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • information sharing
  • online intervention
  • social media
  • sun exposure

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