Partnering with massage therapists to communicate information on reducing the risk of skin cancer among clients: Longitudinal study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Skin cancer affects millions of Americans and is an important focus of disease prevention efforts. Partnering with non-health care practitioners such as massage therapists (MTs) can reduce the risk of skin cancer. MTs see clients' skin on a regular basis, which can allow MTs to initiate "helping conversations" (ie, brief behavioral interventions aimed at reducing the risk of skin cancer). Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate (1) the feasibility of recruiting, enrolling, and retaining Arizona MTs in an online electronic training (e-training) and (2) the preliminary efficacy of e-training on knowledge, attitudes/beliefs, and practice of risk reduction for skin cancer. We explored MTs' ability to assess suspicious skin lesions. Methods: We adapted the existing educational content on skin cancer for applicability to MTs and strategies from previous research on helping conversations. We assessed the feasibility of providing such e-training, using Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) tools for data capture. We assessed the preliminary efficacy using established self-report surveys at baseline, immediately post training, and at 3 and 6 months post training. Results: A total of 95 participants enrolled in the study, of which 77% (73/95) completed the assessments at 6 months (overall attrition=23%). Project satisfaction and e-training acceptability were high. Knowledge, personal behaviors (skin self-examination, clinical skin examination, sun protection frequency), and practice attitudes (appropriateness and comfort with client-focused communication) of risk reduction for skin cancer improved significantly and were sustained throughout the study. Conclusions: The e-training was feasible and could be delivered online successfully to MTs. Participants were highly satisfied with and accepting of the e-training. As such, e-training has potential as an intervention in larger trials with MTs for reducing the risk of skin cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere21309
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Volume4
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Cancer prevention
  • E-training
  • Electronic intervention
  • Massage therapists
  • Skin cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications

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