Not all skins are created equal
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Buchanan, George Stewart
ABSTRACT: Lack of sun protection and increased exposure to UVR is linked to skin cancer primarily for Caucasians and this problem is increasing year on year. Sun Protection, Sun Exposure and UVR risk behaviours are broad and complex and these were examined in a study of 100, community based adults in a repeated group, on line design. It is estimated that 90% of skin cancer cases could be prevented if apparently simple behaviour changes like using hats and clothing to cover up the body as well as the use of sun–screen. The on line questionnaire obtained information on demographics and Sun Protection, Sun Exposure and risk behaviours. The experimental intervention randomly allocated participants to1 of 3 information types:- Sunscreen product information, a Health Leaflet and Pictorial information. The TTM was used to categorise people in the stages of change and the influence of 2 Personality traits of high Conscientiousness, High Neuroticism together with High Health Value and High Satisfaction With Life were examined. MANOVA and Discriminant function analysis revealed 1 underlying factor which explained measured sun related behaviours which was Skin type. Paired t –tests reported significant differences for each information type with the Pictorial Group reporting the greatest intended level of change, followed by the Sunscreen Group and then the Health Leaflet Group. The model explained a significant but small level of variance. Skin type and Information type should be included in studies of sun related behaviours and information should be targeted towards the readiness of individuals for change and the TTM is a useful model to categorise participants if the variables are clearly defined and interventions are based on theory. Sunscreen application should be studied further definition of sunburn for self- report is necessary. Further studies should consider the measurement of attitude change and social influence in terms of changing culture away from beliefs that a tan is attractive.