Objective: Melanoma is on the rise, especially in Caucasian populations exposed to high ultraviolet radiation such as in Australia. This paper examined the psychological components facilitating change in skin cancer prevention or early detection behaviours following a text message intervention.
Methods: The Queensland-based participants were 18 to 42 years old, from the Healthy Text study (N = 546). Overall, 512 (94%) participants completed the 12-month follow-up questionnaires. Following the social cognitive model, potential mediators of skin self-examination (SSE) and sun protection behaviour change were examined using stepwise logistic regression models.
Results: At 12-month follow-up, odds of performing an SSE in the past 12 months were mediated by baseline confidence in finding time to check skin (an outcome expectation), with a change in odds ratio of 11.9% in the SSE group versus the control group when including the mediator. Odds of greater than average sun protective habits index at 12-month follow-up were mediated by (a) an attempt to get a suntan at baseline (an outcome expectation) and (b) baseline sun protective habits index, with a change in odds ratio of 10.0% and 11.8%, respectively in the SSE group versus the control group.
Conclusions: Few of the suspected mediation pathways were confirmed with the exception of outcome expectations and past behaviours. Future intervention programmes could use alternative theoretical models to elucidate how improvements in health behaviours can optimally be facilitated.