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Open Access Study protocol

Protocol of a randomized controlled trial of sun protection interventions for operating engineers

Sonia A Duffy1*, David L Ronis2, Andrea H Waltje3 and Seung Hee Choi4

Author Affiliations

1 School of Nursing, Department of Otolaryngology and Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor VA Center for Clinical Management Research, 400 North Ingalls Building #3178, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-5482, USA

2 University of Michigan School of Nursing, 400 North Ingalls Building #4330, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-5482, USA

3 University of Michigan School of Nursing, 400 North Ingalls Building #3217, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-5482, USA

4 University of Michigan School of Nursing, 400 North Ingalls Building #3219, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-5482, USA

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:273  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-273

Published: 26 March 2013

Abstract

Background

Skin cancer are increasing and some types of skin cancer are among the most lethal cancers yet are easily preventable. However, sun protection interventions are rarely implemented among outdoor workers. Our prior work shows that Michigan Operating Engineers (heavy equipment operators) spend an average of 4–5 hours in the sun, about one-third reported getting sun burned at least once a summer, and over half burned more than once a summer. About three-quarters of the sample never or only sometimes used sun block.

Methods/design

Using the Health Belief Model as a guide, this randomized controlled trial (RCT) will test the efficacy of four sun protection interventions targeting Operating Engineers: a) education only; b) education and mailed sunscreen; c) education and text message reminders; and, d) education, mailed sunscreen, and text message reminders. Participations in the study will be offered during regularly scheduled safety trainings at the Local 324 Training Center. Pre- and post-intervention surveys will be collected to determine changes in sunscreen use and sun burning, the primary dependent variables. The analyses will include: a) paired t-tests to determine changes over time (from pre-intervention to post–intervention) in outcome variables (sunscreen use and burning) separately in the 4 intervention groups, b) Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance (RM-ANOVA) to compare the changes in outcomes across the 4 groups, and c) t-tests on change scores as follow-ups to the RM-ANOVA to determine exactly which groups differ from each other.

Discussion

Based on the outcome of this study, we will develop a RO1 for wider scale testing and dissemination in conjunction with the International Training Center which services North America (including the US, Mexico, and Canada). Wide scale dissemination of an efficacious sun protection intervention has the potential to substantially impact skin cancer rates among this population. The ultimate goal is for high reach, high efficacy, and low cost.

Trial registration

NCT01804595

Keywords:
Sun protection intervention; Skin cancer prevention; Sunscreen; Text messages; Worksite intervention