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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 93, Issue 6, pp 470–474 | Cite as

Predictors of Sun Protection in Canadian Adults

  • Mark P. PurdueEmail author
Article

Abstract

Objective: An analysis of Canadian survey data was performed to identify independent predictors of different protective behaviours and of their use in combination.

Methods: Data from light-skinned respondents of the 1996 National Survey on Sun Exposure & Protective Behaviours who spent 30+ minutes per day of their leisure time in the sun (N=1,027) were analyzed. Multivariable logistic regression models were developed to identify independent predictors of four types of sun protection behaviour (avoiding the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, applying sunscreen to the body) and of their use in combination.

Results: Eighty-one percent of respondents reported performing at least one protective behaviour; each behaviour was practised by between 40% and 48% of individuals. Respondents more likely to perform the behaviours in combination were older individuals, women and those who did not report being unconcerned about sun protection, wanting a tan, finding sun protection inconvenient or being forgetful about protecting oneself from the sun. These characteristics were generally found to predict each of the individual behaviours, with some notable exceptions (women were less likely than men to wear protective clothing; older individuals were less likely to report sunscreen use). Individuals with a higher education level were more likely to report wearing protective clothing and applying sunscreen. Similarly, respondents reporting a higher income level reported sunscreen use more often.

Interpretation: These findings suggest predictors of sun protection to be considered for the targeting of sun safety initiatives to Canadians with poor sun protection practices.

Résumé

Objectif: Par l’analyse des données d’une étude canadienne, nous avons voulu cerner les variables prédictives de divers comportements de protection et de la combinaison de ces comportements.

Méthode: Nous avons analysé les données des répondants à la peau claire de l’Étude nationale sur l’exposition au soleil et les comportements de protection (1996) qui passaient plus de 30 minutes par jour au soleil durant leurs loisirs (n=1 027). Par des modèles de régression logistique multivariable, nous avons cerné les prédicteurs de quatre types de comportements en matière de protection solaire (éviter le soleil entre 11 h et 16 h, rester à l’ombre, porter des vêtements couvrants, appliquer un écran solaire) et de la combinaison de plusieurs comportements.

Résultats: Quatre-vingt-un p. cent des répondants ont dit avoir eu au moins un comportement de protection; chaque comportement était pratiqué par 40 à 48% des répondants. Les répondants les plus susceptibles de combiner plusieurs comportements étaient les personnes âgées, les femmes et les répondants qui n’ont pas indiqué que la protection solaire ne les préoccupait pas, qu’ils voulaient bronzer, qu’ils trouvaient la protection solaire gênante ou qu’ils avaient tendance à l’oublier. Dans l’ensemble, ces caractéristiques prédisaient chacun des comportements de protection, à quelques exceptions notables (les femmes étaient moins susceptibles que les hommes de porter des vêtements couvrants, et les personnes âgées, moins susceptibles d’appliquer un écran solaire). Les répondants plus scolarisés étaient proportionnellement plus nombreux à dire porter des vêtements couvrants et appliquer un écran solaire. De même, les répondants dont le revenu était plus élevé déclaraient plus souvent appliquer un écran solaire.

Interprétation: Ces résultats portent à croire qu’il faudrait tenir compte des prédicteurs de la protection solaire pour axer les initiatives encourageant la prudence au soleil vers les Canadiens dont les pratiques de protection sont déficientes.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Preventive OncologyCancer Care OntarioTorontoCanada

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