An Educational Intervention in Primary School Students Regarding Sun Protection: A Pilot Study | Abstract

Primary Health Care: Open Access

ISSN - 2167-1079


An Educational Intervention in Primary School Students Regarding Sun Protection: A Pilot Study

Saridi M, Toska A, Rekleiti M, Sarafis P, Zoukas L, Souliotis K and Birbas K

Background: Epidemiological data have established a correlation between prolonged sun exposure during childhood and adolescence and occurrence of malign melanoma later in life. The aim of the present study was to investigate knowledge and attitudes of primary school students regarding sun protection measures and sun-related risks before and after an educational intervention.
Methods: It is a descriptive randomized pilot study of two stages with comparison of the results before and after an educational intervention. Sixty students aged 8-12 years from a coastal area participated in this study. Students first completed an anonymous questionnaire and after that took part in an intervention program. After 15 days the same students completed the questionnaire again. Data analysis was performed using the SPSS 17.0 and statistical significance was set to 0.05.
Results: Students’ awareness and knowledge level about sun-related risks and sun protection measures before the implementation of the intervention was satisfactory. Regarding sun protection factor, students’ knowledge levels also increased and 55% of them answered correctly. The students’ attitudes after the intervention showed some improvement, yet without any significant variation. There were no changes regarding the use of sunglasses and wearing appropriate clothing (hat, long-sleeve shirts, etc.). The proportion of children who used a sunscreen with SPF
30+ was significantly higher in students after the intervention (p<0.001). Sunburn incidence was found to be high. 35% of the students reported having at least one sunburn in the past summer. Children after the intervention had significantly higher knowledge scores compared to those before the program but the score in attitudes was not so high.
Conclusions: This pilot study showed that a similar intervention in a larger sample could increase and expand the students’ knowledge about sun protection.