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BJGP Open. 2019 Jul 23. pii: bjgpopen19X101653. doi: 10.3399/bjgpopen19X101653. [Epub ahead of print]

Sustainable effect of individualised sun protection advice on sun protection behaviour: a 10-year follow-up of a randomised controlled study in primary care.

Author information

1
Statistician, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Physiotherapy, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
2
Doctoral Student, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine, Primary Care, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
3
Professor, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Dermatology, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
4
Associate Professor, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine, Primary Care, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden magnus.falk@liu.se.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In the light of increasing skin cancer incidences worldwide, preventive measures to promote sun protection in individuals with risky sun habits have continued relevance and importance.

AIM:

To report the long-term effect of individualised sun protection advice given in primary health care (PHC), on sun habits and sun protection behaviour.

DESIGN & SETTING:

In 2005, 309 PHC patients were enrolled in a randomised controlled study performed in a Swedish PHC setting.

METHOD:

At baseline, the study participants completed a Likert scale-based questionnaire, mapping sun habits, propensity to increase sun protection, and attitudes towards sun exposure, followed by randomisation into three intervention groups, all receiving individualised sun protection advice: in Group 1 (n = 116) by means of a letter, and in Group 2 (n = 97) and 3 (n = 96) communicated personally by a GP. In Group 3, participants also underwent a skin ultraviolet-sensitivity phototest, with adjusted sun protection advice based on the result. A repeated questionnaire was administered after 3 and 10 years.

RESULTS:

Statistically significant declines were observed in all groups for sun exposure mean scores over time. When using a cumulative score, according to the Sun Exposure and Protection Index (SEPI), significantly greater decrease in SEPI mean score was observed in Groups 2 and 3 (GP), compared to Group 1 (letter); P<0.01. The addition of a phototest did not enhance the effect of the intervention.

CONCLUSION:

Individualised sun protection advice mediated verbally by the GP can lead to sustained improvement of sun protective behaviour.

KEYWORDS:

Primary Health Care; Primary prevention; Questionnaire; Randomized controlled trial; Skin cancers; Ultraviolet exposure

PMID:
31344682
DOI:
10.3399/bjgpopen19X101653
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