Personalised melanoma risk assessments promote short-term melanoma prevention behaviours

June 6, 2018


Background: Personalized risk assessments using prediction models that incorporate several melanoma risk factors may promote melanoma-prevention behaviours.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect on short-term melanoma-prevention behaviours of web-based, real-time, model-generated personalized melanoma risk information and tailored prevention advice, and its feasibility and clinician acceptability.

Methods: Between February and April 2016, in an open randomized controlled trial across four general medical practices in New South Wales, Australia, 272 patients were randomly allocated to receive (i) real-time model-generated personalized melanoma risk assessment and tailored melanoma-prevention advice or (ii) generic melanoma-prevention advice. We measured self-reported melanoma-prevention behaviours at baseline and 6 weeks and the intervention’s feasibility and acceptability.

Results: Follow-up questionnaires were completed by 185 patients at 6 weeks: 174 assessed as average risk and 11 as high or very high risk. There were no statistically significant differences between intervention and control patients in sun protection, sun exposure or early diagnosis behaviours. When stratified by melanoma risk, average risk patients in the intervention group appeared to show greater sun protection at 6 weeks (mean difference = 0.23, on a scale of 1–5; 95% confidence interval: 0.01 to 0.45; P = 0.04) than patients in the control group; the P value for interaction between intervention and risk category was 0.10. There was favourable feedback from patients and general practitioners.

Conclusions: Web-based delivery in general practice of real-time, model-generated personalized melanoma risk prediction and tailored melanoma-prevention advice is feasible and acceptable. An apparent increase in sun protection behaviour in average risk patients warrants further evaluation in different risk groups.


Kylie Vuong, Bruce K Armstrong, Kevin McGeechan, Anne E Cust; Personalized melanoma risk assessments and tailored prevention advice: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial in Australian general practice, Family Practice, , cmy040,

« Back to News