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Am J Prev Med. 2006 Jan;30(1):13-22.

Effects of the Sunny Days, Healthy Ways curriculum on students in grades 6 to 8.

Author information

  • 1Klein Buendel, Inc., Golden, Colorado 80401, USA. dbuller@kleinbuendel.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There are few effective sun-safety education programs for use in secondary schools. Project aims were to create a sun-safety curriculum for grades 6 to 8, and to test whether exposure to the curriculum would increase children's sun-protection behavior.

DESIGN:

A pair-matched, group-randomized, pre--post test, controlled trial was performed with middle schools as the unit of randomization. Teachers implemented the six-unit sun-safety curriculum in 2001-2003, and analyses were performed in 2003-2004.

SETTING/PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 2038 children from 30 middle schools in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Self-reported sun-protection behavior using frequency ratings and diary.

RESULTS:

Compared to control schools, children receiving the curriculum reported more frequent sun protection (p=0.0035), and a greater proportion wore long-sleeved shirts during recess (p<0.0001) and applied sunscreen (p<0.0001). Exposure to the curriculum improved knowledge (p<0.0001), decreased perceived barriers to using sunscreen (p=0.0046), enhanced self-efficacy expectations (p=0.0577) about sun safety, and reduced favorable attitudes toward sun tanning (p=0.0026 to <0.0001). In intent-to-treat analyses, the treatment effect was eliminated only under the most conservative assumptions about dropouts.

CONCLUSIONS:

Educational approaches to sun safety in middle school may be effective for improving children's sun safety. Potential trial limitations include measuring short-term outcomes, focusing on young adolescents, using active parental consent, and testing in the American Southwest.

PMID:
16414419
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1448611
Free PMC Article
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