Sun protective behaviours amongst recreational boat users in northern Australia: associations with personal experience of skin cancer

Woolley, Torres, and Buettner, Petra G. (2010) Sun protective behaviours amongst recreational boat users in northern Australia: associations with personal experience of skin cancer. Journal of Rural and Tropical Public Health, 9. pp. 31-35.

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Abstract

Objective: To identify whether personal experience of skin cancer in people who regularly participate in recreational boating is associated with their level of midday sun exposure, current sun protective behaviours and sun-induced skin damage.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey with 24-hour follow-up of recreational boat users who regularly go boating between 9am and 3pm. The study was conducted in Townsville, North Queensland (latitude 19°S), during the summer of 2003. Of the 134 boat users approached, 124 consented to participate, with 5 later excluded from analysis (n=119, response rate=92%).

Results: In comparison to people reporting no personal experience of skin cancer, people with personal experience of skin cancer were more likely to: (1) report spending fewer hours on the boat between 9am to 3pm (p=0.010), (2) report using a canopy during the boat trip (p=0.038), (3) report wearing sunglasses (p=0.013), and (4) spend more than one hour in the sun on a typical workday (p=0.059). People who reported having previous skin cancer were no more likely to use personal sun protection or have a lighter tan, and no less likely to experience sunburn from the boat trip, than people not having skin cancer.

Conclusions: During recreational boating, people who reported previous skin cancer were more likely to use a shade structure and spend less time in the sun during peak UVR hours (particularly those who typically worked indoors), but not to use more individual sun protection practices excepting sunglasses, than people not having skin cancer.

Item ID: 11775
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: skin cancer; behaviour; sun; protection; exposure; recreational; Australia
ISSN: 1832-2921
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2010 22:37
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 100%
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