Engaging Moms on Teen Indoor Tanning Through Social Media: Protocol of a Randomized Controlled Trial.


"Indoor tanning (IT) elevates the risk for melanoma, which is now the most common cancer in women aged 25-29. To reduce melanoma morbidity and mortality, some states have issued complete bans on IT by minors, while others require parental permission for minors to indoor tan. Unfortunately, parental consent policies have suffered from low compliance due to industry non-compliance,likely due to insufficient policy enforcement, and parents' lack of awareness of the dangers of IT. Little attention has been paid to creating health communication that maximizes the effectiveness of IT policy, including both parental consent and bans. Mothers are an important target, because their permissiveness and IT behavior are strong predictors of daughters' IT. Teen girls often initiate IT with their mothers. and further, girls who first experience IT with their mothers begin at an earlier age, become more habitual tanners, and are more resistant to change.Thus, mothers of teen girls are a significant target for interventions to reduce IT and an effective campaign for mothers has the potential to reduce the prevalence of IT in adolescent girls and the incidence of melanoma in young women. Recent research indicates that well-crafted communication can reduce maternal permissiveness but such communication has not been tested as a strategy specifically for maximizing IT policies. A campaign that aims to a) inform mothers of IT risks b) highlight how their IT permissiveness will influence their child's current and future risks,and c) provide them with effective messages to convince daughters not to indoor tan will be developed and delivered via Facebook to maximize the effectiveness of parental-permission laws, the most prevalent IT policy in the United States. The campaign will be evaluated in a group-randomized pretest-posttest controlled trial that enrolls mothers and adolescent teen daughters aged 14 to 17 years old. Participants will be randomized to receive entry into one of two private Facebook groups that will deliver health campaigns lasting one year. In the intervention group, participants will receive a health-focused feed in which 25% of posts are focused on IT. In the control condition, participants will receive the same health-focused feed but instead of 25% of posts focused on IT, 25% of posts will focus on prescription drug abuse and misuse. Randomization will occur at the level of the Facebook private groups; 30-50 mothers from the same community will participate in each Facebook private group for a total of 50 Facebook groups recruited over the trial period. Assessment points will occur at baseline and again at 6-months and 1-year post-intervention. The primary outcome will be reduction in mothers' permissiveness regarding their teen daughter's use of indoor tanning and secondary outcomes will be increase in teen daughters' perception of their mother's permissiveness,and reduction in IT by both mothers and daughters."