Skin Awareness Study


Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in Australian men. Over 700 men and 7,663 years of their life are lost prematurely to melanoma each year. Incidence and mortality is highest among men 50 years or older compared to other demographic groups. While prevention is the best way to reduce incidence rates of melanoma in future generations, early detection offers the greatest potential to improve survival. This randomised-controlled trial assessed the effectiveness of a video-delivered intervention designed to increase the prevalence of skin self-examinations and rapid presentation to a doctor among men 50 years and above.

Participants (n=968) were randomly allocated to one of two groups and received educational material consisting of either brochures on skin cancer currently available through the Cancer Council of Queensland, or a custom-made video/DVD. Both groups completed three short telephone interviews at baseline, and at 7 months and 13 months after receiving the intervention material. If during the study period participants indicated that they went to a doctor for a clinical skin examination (CSE) or for examination of a particular lesion(s), they were asked for permission to contact the doctor to get details of the results of those skin checks.

Skin Examination Instructions

skin check


Journal articles

Janda, Monika, Youl, Philippa, Neale, Rachel, Aitken, Joanne, Whiteman, David C., Gordon, Louisa, et al. (2014) Clinical skin examination outcomes after a video-based behavioral intervention analysis from a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Dermatology, 150(4), pp. 372-379.

Auster, Josephine F., Hurst, Cameron, Neale, Rachel E., Youl, Phillipa, Whiteman, David C., Baade, Peter, et al. (2013) Determinants of uptake of whole-body skin self-examination in older men. Behavioral Medicine, 39(2), 36-43.

Walton, Ashley, E., Janda, Monika, Youl, Philippa, Baade, Peter, Aitken, Joanne, Whiteman, David C., Gordon, Louisa, C., & Neale, Rachel E. (2014) Uptake of skin self-examination and clinical examination behavior by outdoor workers. Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health, 69(4), pp. 214-222.

Auster, Josephine F., Neale, Rachel, Youl, Phillippa, Baade, Peter, Gordon, Louisa, Aitken, Joanne, et al. (2012) Characteristics of men aged 50 years or older who do not take up skin self-examination following an educational intervention. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 67(1), pp. 57-58.

Janda, Monika, Baade, Peter D., Youl, Philippa H., Aitken, Joanne F., Whiteman, David C., Gordon, Louise, et al. (2009) The skin awareness study : promoting thorough skin self-examination for skin cancer among men 50 years or older. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 31(1), pp. 119-130.

Research Grants

Title of project Chief investigators Funding body Period of funding
The Skin Awareness Study Janda M, Baade PD, Youl PH, Aitken JF, Whiteman DC, Gordon L,  Neale RE National Health and Medical Research Council 2008-2010