Online Program

Skin cancer knowledge, beliefs, self-efficacy, and prevention behaviors among north Mississippi landscapers

Monday, November 4, 2013

Vinayak K. Nahar, MD, MS, PhD Candidate, Department of Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science, Lincoln Memorial University, University of Mississippi, and University of Mississippi Medical Center, Harrogate, TN
Allison Ford-Wade, Ph.D., Department of Health, Exercise Science & Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS
Jeffrey S. Hallam, Ph.D., CHES, Center for Health Behavior Research, The University of Mississippi, University, MS
Martha A. Bass, PhD, Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi, University, MS
Amanda Hutcheson, B.S., Department of Health, Exercise Science & Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS
Background: Over 1 million workers are employed in landscape services in the US. These workers have the potential for overexposure to solar ultraviolet radiation; thus, increasing their risk of developing skin cancer. Objective: This cross-sectional study assessed landscapers' skin cancer knowledge, health beliefs, self-efficacy, and sun protective behaviors. Methods: Of 140 landscapers from 23 companies contacted, 117 participated (83.6% response rate). Questionnaires were mailed to 22 companies and one company requested on-site administration. Data were collected via a modified version of the Skin Cancer Survey, which included demographics, knowledge, preventive behaviors, and Health Belief Model (HBM) variables. Results: The sample (n = 109) had a mean age of 37.06 years (± 12.18), with 94.5% males, and 77.1% White. Participants spent an average of 5.36 hours/day in the sun during peak sun hours. Participants correctly answered 67.1% of the knowledge questions, 69.7% believed they were more likely than the average person to get skin cancer, and 87.2% perceived that skin cancer is a severe disease. Participants believed the use of wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved shirts/long pants, and sunscreen were beneficial. However, participants reported low use of these and other sun protective strategies. The primary barriers for not using sun protection were “I forget to wear it” and “it is too hot to wear.” Of the HBM variables, only self-efficacy was correlated with sun protection behavior (r = .538, p = .001). Conclusions: Interventions should focus on increasing skin cancer knowledge, reducing barriers, and enhancing self-efficacy to engage in sun protection practices.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe current sun protection behaviors of landscapers working in North Mississippi. Describe the Health Belief Model factors associated with sun protection behaviors among landscapers.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, Workplace Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator of the study, which has been my thesis work for my Masters in Health Promotion at the University of Mississippi. My primary areas of research interest include: skin cancer prevention, sun protection behavior, occupational sun exposures, and health promotion of the population at increased risk of skin cancer.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3304.2: Poster Session: OHS Topics