Improving Safe Skin Behaviors in High School Freshman
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OBJECTIVE: Sun exposure is common among teenagers but teenagers also have poor sun protection strategies. Sun exposure during adolescence or teenage years is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer later in life. Research suggests that adolescence and childhood are optimal periods to provide information regarding skin cancer and implement a primary prevention program. This project investigates whether or not providing education on skin cancer and safe sun behaviors increases knowledge among high school freshman at a rural Midwestern High School. METHODS: Pretests/posttests were administered to students before education was provided and after education was provided. The pretest/posttest was a 15 question test that consisted of multiple choice or true/false questions regarding skin cancer and safe sun behavior knowledge. A dependent samples t-test was used for data analysis with a level of significance of 0.05. Data was analyzed as an aggregate, by analyzing a mean pre-test score of all individuals to the mean post-test score of all individuals. RESULTS: There were 27 participants in this project from which both a pretest and posttest were obtained. There was a significant difference in the scores of before education (M= 10.6, SD= 1.92) and after education (M=14.1, SD=0.91) conditions t(26)=12.16, p=0.00. CONCLUSION: The results/findings of this project were significant and revealed that providing education modules about skin cancer and safe sun behaviors to high school freshman increased knowledge of skin cancer and safe sun behaviors among this population.
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