Effect of appearance-based education compared with health-based education on sunscreen use and knowledge: A randomized controlled trial

Published:February 07, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2013.12.007

      Background

      Appearance-based education shows promise in promoting sunscreen use although resource-intensive methods used in prior studies preclude wide dissemination. Appearance-based video education can be made easily accessible.

      Objective

      We sought to compare the effectiveness of appearance-based video education with that of health-based video education in improving sunscreen use and knowledge.

      Design

      In a randomized controlled trial, participants viewed either an appearance-based video on ultraviolet-induced premature aging or a health-based video emphasizing ultraviolet exposure and skin cancer risk.

      Results

      Fifty high-school students participated in the study, conducted from February through March 2012. The health-based group had a nonstatistically significant increase in sunscreen use (0.9 ± 1.9 d/wk, P = .096), whereas the appearance-based group demonstrated a statistically significant increase in sunscreen use (2.8 ± 2.2, P < .001). Between-group comparisons revealed that the appearance-based group applied sunscreen at significantly greater frequencies compared with the health-based group (2.2 ± 1.4 vs 0.2 ± 0.6, P < .001). Knowledge scores significantly improved in both study groups. The difference in knowledge scores between the study groups was not significant.

      Limitations

      The study population may not reflect the general population.

      Conclusion

      Appearance-based video education appears to be effective in promoting sunscreen use and knowledge in adolescents.

      Key words

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