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Aust J Public Health. 1993 Sep;17(3):209-14.

Solar protection behaviours: a study of beachgoers.

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  • 1University of Newcastle.


This study explored the prevalence and predictors of solar protection behaviour in a community sample of beachgoers. A total of 670 participants was randomly selected from six beaches in the Newcastle district. The solar protection behaviour of each participant was assessed by direct observation and interview. A subsample was also asked to complete a written questionnaire to assess attitudes to solar protection use, knowledge of skin cancer and awareness of recommended solar protection behaviours. Forty-five per cent of the beachgoers in this sample were using a high level of solar protection, and a substantial proportion (16 per cent) of the sample was not using any kind of solar protection. Sunscreen with SPF 15+ was applied to at least one body region by 69 per cent of the sample, 17 per cent of the sample were wearing a recommended hat, 15.1 per cent were using shade, and 3.4 per cent were wearing a recommended style of shirt at the time of observation. Chi-square analyses of the data for under-15-year-olds indicated that a significantly greater proportion of 0- to 9-year-olds were well protected compared to 11- to 14-year-olds, but there was no difference in use of protection by boys and girls under 15 years of age. Stepwise regression analysis of the adult sample (15 years and over) showed that the predictors of overall level of solar protection were marital status and frequency of skin self-examination in the past 12 months. The practical implications of these findings for future community-based skin cancer prevention programs are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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