Sun-health behaviours and attitudes towards sun safety amongst Australian teenagers: a qualitative update

Nisali Gamage, Rebecca Nguyen, Isabelle M. Clare, Robyn M. Lucas, Mark Strickland, Joanna Granich, Shelley Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to explore current attitudes towards sun protection, and sun-seeking behaviour among young Australian adolescents. It was done as part of a larger project aiming to develop a digital resource to support young people in making informed sun-health decisions. Results: Ten (4 male, 6 female) adolescents (12–13 years of age) living in Perth (Western Australia) were recruited through a social media-based strategy. Each participant engaged in a semi-structured telephone interview which explored their sun-health decision-making, with interview transcripts assessed qualitatively using NVivo. Three major themes (and eight sub-themes) were identified: (1) ‘personal sun health considerations’; (2) ‘attitudes towards sun protection’; and (3) ‘recommendations’. The importance of sun protection was appreciated by participants. However, females were more diligent in the use of sun protection while males were indifferent. Behaviours were influenced by parental input, the school environment and engagement in sport. Adolescents had limited knowledge of the UV Index and its implications for sun protection, and the health importance of sun-derived vitamin D. Overall, the importance of sun protection was acknowledged but did not consistently translate into sun protective behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Article number349
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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