Assessing the efficacy of appearance-focused interventions to prevent skin cancer: A systematic review of the literature

L.J. Dodd, M.J. Forshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is associated with adverse health effects. Although the immediate appearance values of tanning seem to outweigh the long-term health consequences, interventions emphasising the negative effects of UV exposure on appearance may be effective in modifying such behaviour. Method. A systematic review assessing the efficacy of appearance-focused interventions in modifying UV exposure and/or protection. Relevant publications were identified from a comprehensive search strategy of 16 electronic bibliographic databases from inception to March 2009, hand searches of six subject relevant journals and references lists of identified articles. Results. Data were extracted from 12 studies that were found to be eligible. Significant effects were found for UV protection behaviour in favour of the interventions. Though the interventions only had moderate success in modifying UV exposure behaviour, plausible explanations were provided. There was no clear pattern to suggest that quality of the studies or type of intervention was associated with effectiveness of the interventions. Conclusion. Appearance-focused interventions represent a promising method for modifying tanning behaviour. There is scope to evaluate the generalisability of these interventions on different populations and regions.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)93-111
JournalHealth Psychology Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2010


  • appearance
  • intervention
  • review
  • skin cancer
  • UV

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