Skin cancer and preventive behaviors: effects of posted prompting, feedback, and peer leader modeling

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Virginia Tech

The present study applied peer leader modeling and the use of posted feedback and goals to increase the occurrence of protective behaviors for skin cancer at two swimming pools. During the intervention phase, the models, pool lifeguards, wore sunglasses and special t-shirts and hats, used zinc-oxide and sun screen, and sat in the shade. The posted feedback was the "Percentage of pool patrons from the previous day who engaged in two or more protective behaviors. The protective behaviors measured were wearing shirts, hats or sunglasses, using zinc-oxide, and being in a shaded area. The feedback also consisted of a goal percentage to reach for that day. The results indicated that for Pool 1, substantial increases from the baseline to the intervention phase in behaviors were observed. The most dramatic increases were observed for the remaining in a shaded area measure. from 20% to 55% during intervention. Adolescents increased Adults increased from 15% to 39% during intervention. No changes occurred at Pool 2 until the intervention was introduced.