141st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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277107
Skin cancer knowledge, beliefs, self-efficacy, and prevention behaviors among north Mississippi landscapers

Monday, November 4, 2013

Vinayak K. Nahar, M.D., M.S. , Department of Health, Exercise Science & Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS
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, Ph.D. , Department of Health, Exercise Science & Recreation Management, The 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:
Epidemiology
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.

Keywords: 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.

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