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Can J Public Health. 2010 Jul-Aug;101(4):I10-3.

The Second National Sun Survey: overview and methods.

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Poulation Studies & Surveillance, Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, ON.


The Second National Sun Survey (NSS2) was carried out in 2006 to estimate ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure, sun protection and related knowledge, attitudes and beliefs among Canadians. This paper provides a detailed overview of NSS2 methods and discusses the strengths and limitations of the survey. The NSS2 consists of two questionnaires administered to two samples of adults (age 16+ years). The base sample provides in-depth information on UVR exposure, protective behaviours, tanning, and knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about sun safety for adults, as well as some sun behaviour information for a sample of their children aged 1-12 years. The shorter comparison sample facilitates direct comparison with the 1996 first national sun survey. Data were collected using computer-assisted telephone interviewing, and sample weights were computed for all respondents for estimation and analysis of both adult and child data. Base sample interviews were completed for 7,121 adults, of whom 1,437 reported on the sun behaviour of one of their children, and the comparison sample yielded 2,115 interviews. Response rates were 63% for both surveys. The NSS2 provides in-depth and up-to-date UVR exposure information among Canadians. The results of this survey will aid health promotion experts and policy-makers in developing effective programs to minimize UVR exposure. A public use data file and training in statistical analysis of the NSS2 has been made available to data analysts from across Canada. Key strengths and limitations identified in this survey will inform the development and implementation of future sun surveys.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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