Medline: 1614992

Preventive Medicine 21(3): 302-310, 1992.

Sun exposure and sunscreen use following a community skin cancer screening.

Berwick M, Fine JA, Bolognia JL

Abstract:

Background:
In May 1988, a community skin cancer screening was held, and of the 251 individuals who attended, 214 (85%) completed a follow-up questionnaire. The objective of this study was to examine the associations among attitudes, knowledge, and behavior in those who had attended the screening.

Results:
Analysis showed that females were twice as likely to have false positive screening diagnoses as males (odds ratio 2.2; P = 0.06). Attitudes toward tanning were not correlated with knowledge about the harmful effects of excess sun exposure (rp = -0.02; P = 0.67) or with behaviors such as reported sun exposure (for positive attitude versus "poor" attitude, linear trend P less than 0.11) and sunscreen use (linear trend P = 0.70). Behavior, defined as reported sunscreen use, was highly correlated with knowledge, both of the harmful effects of the sun and of the definition of SPF (linear trend P less than 0.001). Sunscreen use was also associated with the younger age group (those less than 59, P less than 0.05), female sex (P less than 0.001), higher education (P less than 0.05), and perceived risk for melanoma (P less than 0.05).

Conclusions:
We conclude that more targeted education in the domain of knowledge would benefit males and those over the age of 59.


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Dr. G. Quade

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