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Open AccessArticle

The Potential of Ultraviolet Radiation Meters in Secondary Schools as a Sun Protection Intervention Mechanism for Adolescents

1
Food Policy Division, The George Institute for Global Health, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia
2
Kurongkurl Katitjin, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA 6050, Australia
3
Cancer Prevention & Research, Cancer Council Western Australia, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia
4
Population Health Department, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia
5
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra 2601, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041137
Received: 23 December 2019 / Revised: 5 February 2020 / Accepted: 9 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sun Exposure and Vitamin D for Public Health)
The aim of this pilot study was to assess whether the installation of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) meters in secondary schools has the potential to improve adolescents’ sun protection-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours and reduce their exposure to UVR during school hours. Data were collected from students at two schools via online pre- and post-intervention surveys, measurement of sunscreen usage, polysulfone UVR exposure badges, and photographs of the schoolyards to assess hat and shade use. Several operational issues limited the quantity and quality of data that could be collected, and findings were mixed. While there were no significant changes in either self-reported or observed sun protection behaviours, there were significant improvements in UVR knowledge among students at the intervention school, and reactions to the meter were highly favourable. Students reported consulting the meter regularly and using it to make decisions about their sun protection behaviours. Overall, the study results offer some support for the use of UVR meters in areas frequented by adolescents and provide insights into the process issues that are likely to need to be addressed when attempting to trial sun protection interventions in schools. View Full-Text
Keywords: sun protection; ultraviolet radiation; adolescents; school-based interventions sun protection; ultraviolet radiation; adolescents; school-based interventions
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Pettigrew, S.; Parnell, A.; Strickland, M.; Neale, R.; Lucas, R. The Potential of Ultraviolet Radiation Meters in Secondary Schools as a Sun Protection Intervention Mechanism for Adolescents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1137.

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