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Preliminary effects of a rural skin cancer prevention intervention for youths.

OBJECTIVES: To pilot and assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of the Rural Adult and Youth Sun (RAYS) protection program, a multilevel skin cancer preventive intervention for young children living in rural U.S. communities, delivered through community-organized team sports.

METHOD: Three rural counties in Utah participated with two receiving the intervention and the third serving as a control. Youth sports leagues were recruited through recreation departments and the study took place from May through October 2021. Intervention leagues received sun protection supplies for players and coaches, educational materials for parents, and coaches were offered training on skin cancer and sun protection behaviors.

RESULTS: The RAYS program is both feasible to deliver and acceptable to coaches, parents, and players. The intervention also demonstrates beneficial preliminary effects on components of observed child sun-protective behaviors, coach sun protection behaviors, knowledge of skin cancer prevention recommendations, and self-efficacy in skin cancer prevention.

CONCLUSIONS: Multilevel interventions for skin cancer prevention among young children can be successfully delivered through community organizations and their settings. A priority moving forward is the identification of ways to optimize delivery of such programs to positively influence skin cancer preventive behaviors among children living in diverse rural areas. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

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