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Behavior Change, Intervention, Prevention, Skin Cancer, Theory



  1. Martin, Brian
  2. Nahar, Vinayak K.
  3. Boyas, Javier F.
  4. Jacks, Stephanie K.
  5. Brodell, Robert T.
  6. Sharma, Manoj


ABSTRACT: Skin cancer is a global health issue and constitutes the most common form of cancer worldwide. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is a primary skin cancer risk. Engaging in sun protection behavior could mitigate this risk. Several sociobehavioral theories can be used to better explain and predict health behaviors. Unfortunately, application of theories has yielded mixed results with variable predictability. Most importantly, they do not impact long-term changes in behavior. Therefore, there is still a need to develop theoretical models that better explain and predict health behaviors, in particular, sun-safe behaviors. A recently proposed health behavior theory, called the multitheory model of health behavior change, may be the answer. The multitheory model has been shown to be effective in changing attitudes toward other health behaviors such as physical activity, portion size control, and sleep deprivation. It is unique from established health behavior theories because it emphasizes long-term change over short-term behavior modification, which is more likely associated with relapse. It does this by separating factors that lead to short-term change from those that promote long-term behavior adoption. This article presents the application of the principles of multitheory model to skin cancer preventative behaviors.