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J Photochem Photobiol B. 2014 Nov;140:14-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2014.07.002. Epub 2014 Jul 9.

Knowledge, attitude and practice regarding solar ultraviolet exposure among medical university students in Northeast China.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
2
Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, China Medical University, Shenyang, China. Electronic address: cmu_liuyang@163.com.

Abstract

To assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding the health effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and sun exposure among medical university students in Northeast China, 385 subjects were investigated on October 2013 using a self-administered multiple-choice questionnaire. Most of the subjects knew the effects of UVR on skin cancer (95.6%) and sunburn (92.2%), but fewer knew of the eye damage that can result from UVR (27.8% cataract and 3.1% pterygium). Correspondingly, the main purpose of adopting sun protection was considered to be 'preventing sunburn' (55.4%), but 'preventing eye damage' was the least (1.8%). In actual behaviour, the eyes received the least protection as well. Although knowing the effects of UVR on vitamin D synthesis (87.3%), 66.8% of participants never or seldom increased sun exposure. Compared to men, women were more likely to reduce sun exposure (P<0.001). Only a small fraction of subjects (6.6%) thought that tanning was attractive. Considering the response variability to UVR in people with different skin colours, different sun protection programs should be provided. In China, especially in the North, the public should be educated to moderately increase sun exposure to maintain adequate vitamin D status while also protecting against eye damage from UVR.

KEYWORDS:

Attitude; Knowledge; Practice; Sun protection; Ultraviolet rays

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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