Article: Assessment of attitudes towards sun-protective behaviour in Australians: A cross-sectional study
Authors: Kieran B Garbutcheon-Singh; Shreya Dixit; Andrew Lee; Pam Brown; Saxon D Smith;
Australasian Journal of Dermatology, March 2015
To assess the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour towards sun protection measures in a sample of Australian adults.
A multicentre, cross-sectional study was undertaken during 2014 using a population-based survey of 416 individuals over the age of 18. The knowledge, behaviour and attitudes towards sun protection measures in this group of adults were assessed. The impact of educational level and employment status on responses was also evaluated.
Only 15% of respondents applied a sufficient amount of sunscreen.
Less than 50% of individuals replaced their sunscreen each year.
Only 36% of individuals rarely or never checked their sunscreens expiry date.
Sunscreen is the most common sun-protective measure. Daily sunscreen use is below 20%. Forgetfulness was the largest barrier to sunscreen use. A total of 85% of respondents did not apply a sufficient amount of sunscreen. Only 32% of individuals reapplied sunscreen every 2 hours and 20% never reapplied it. In the preceding year, one or more sun burns were suffered by 46% of the participants in the survey. In all, 36% of individuals rarely or never check their sunscreens expiry date and less than 50% of individuals replaced their sunscreen each year. Furthermore, 65% were unaware that sunscreens stored above 25°C were less effective than when stored correctly as per manufactures labelling.
This study highlights a number of significant deficiencies that future sun-protection programmes could target in order to improve the general public’s knowledge and attitudes towards sun protection. There is also a need for this to be translated into the public’s sun-protection behaviour.