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Research Letter
November 17, 2008

A Comparison of 2 Brief Intervention Approaches to Reduce Indoor Tanning Behavior in Young Women Who Indoor Tan Very Frequently

Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(11):1521-1524. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.11.1521

Case-control studies have found evidence linking UV radiation exposure through indoor artificial UV tanning to all forms of skin cancer, and these risks increase exponentially for those who indoor tan more than 10 times a year.1,2 Compounding the problem are the high rates of indoor UV tanning among young women, who engage in significantly more indoor tanning than men.3,4 Despite these risks, few prevention efforts have been developed specifically targeting indoor tanners who tan very frequently.

The present pilot study tested the efficacy of 2 brief intervention approaches, shown to be successful in modifying other difficult-to-change health behaviors, in reducing very frequent indoor tanning behavior in young women: (1) the peer-delivered Motivational Interview5 (PMI) and (2) personalized graphic feedback (PGF).6 The PMI uses a one-on-one, 30-minute counseling session to provide cognitive-behavioral skills information and help participants evaluate the effects of current indoor tanning behaviors with the aim of enhancing their desire to reduce harmful behaviors. The benefit of the PMI is that the health and appearance information can be tailored to the salient aspects of the participants' concerns. The PMI uses a personalized graphic feedback sheet that incorporates information on the participants' indoor tanning behaviors, normative beliefs about tanning, beliefs about tanning effects, tanning-related problems, tanning financial costs, family history of skin cancers, and skin-protective behaviors (Figure).