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Abstract

Background  (i) To assess the baseline knowledge of non-medical skin care professionals (estheticians, cosmetologists, massage therapists) on tanning bed use and its association with melanoma; and (ii) to provide preliminary evidence of the potential impact of a fast and simple educational intervention on tanning beds and melanoma on the awareness of non-medical skin care professionals towards skin cancer prevention.

Methods  A pre-intervention survey was administered to non-medical skin care professional at salons or spas in Southern California to assess baseline knowledge on tanning and skin cancer. This was followed immediately by a 10-minute oral presentation on tanning bed use and its association with melanoma. One month later, a post-intervention survey was distributed to individuals who attended the initial oral presentation.

Results  Significant changes pre- and post-intervention were found in non-medical skin care professionals’ answer responses to the following: (i) increased speaking to clients about cancer risk with tanning bed use 42–66% (OR 2.44; 95% CI 1.39, 4.30)]; (ii) decreased personal tanning bed use (23–15% [OR 0.61; 95% CI 0.37, 1.00]); and (iii) decreased belief that tanning beds are an excellent cosmetic tool (29–20% [OR 0.60; 95% CI 0.38, 0.96]).

Conclusion  This study provides preliminary evidence that non-medical skin care professionals could be an important source of primary prevention information for reducing the burden of melanoma.