Assessment of sunscreen knowledge: A pilot survey Journal Article

Authors: Wang, S. Q.; Dusza, S. W.
Article Title: Assessment of sunscreen knowledge: A pilot survey
Abstract: SummaryBackground Topical sunscreens are designed to block and absorb UV radiation from the sun and have the potential to decrease the risk of skin cancer and delay the photoaging. Many studies have examined the behavior patterns of the public on sunscreen use, but little is known regarding the level of knowledge the public has regarding sunscreen. Objective To assess general sunscreen knowledge of the public and to determine factors associated with sunscreen purchasing decisions. Methods Individuals attending health seminars in New Jersey were asked to complete a 22-question survey regarding sunscreen. The questions assessed the respondent's familiarity and comprehension of sunscreen terminology, sunscreen application and sunscreen efficacy claims. Descriptive frequencies, Chi-square analyses and t-tests were used to characterize the responses. Results Four hundred and twenty-three individuals completed the survey. Approximately 86% of the subjects knew that sunscreen use could prevent sunburn, and 70% reported that sunscreen could prevent skin cancer. However, only 32·1% of respondents knew that sunscreen should be applied 30 min before going outside, and only 30% knew the appropriate reapplication recommendation. Merely 18% of respondents knew that approximately 1 ounce of sunscreen is required to cover the entire body. The overall mean composite sunscreen knowledge score for the respondents was 4·9 out of a possible 12 points. SPF and UVA are the most important factors that effect purchase decision. Conclusions The study indicates that a majority of the subjects understand the benefits associated with sunscreen use, but their knowledge base is somewhat superficial. More education is needed on the appropriate application of the sunscreen. More importantly, the majority did not understand the subtle, but crucial difference between a UVA claim for a product and the SPF value listed on the product. © 2009 British Association of Dermatologists.
Keywords: adult; middle aged; drug efficacy; united states; sunscreen; cancer prevention; protective clothing; skin neoplasms; skin cancer; administration, topical; risk factors; skin; pilot study; pilot projects; public health; health knowledge, attitudes, practice; chi square test; ultraviolet a radiation; ultraviolet rays; decision making; sunlight; sunscreening agents; drug use; student t test; health education; sunburn; knowledge; skin aging; photoprotection knowledge; uva; uvb; purchasing
Journal Title: British Journal of Dermatology
Volume: 161
Issue: SUPPL. 3
ISSN: 0007-0963
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing  
Date Published: 2009-11-01
Start Page: 28
End Page: 32
Language: English
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09446.x
PUBMED: 19775354
PROVIDER: scopus
Notes: --- - "Cited By (since 1996): 3" - "Export Date: 30 November 2010" - "CODEN: BJDEA" - "Source: Scopus"
Citation Impact
MSK Authors
  1. Steven Q Wang
    78 Wang
  2. Stephen Dusza
    255 Dusza