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Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 736–742 | Cite as

Evaluation of Project Students are Sun Safe (SASS): A University Student-Delivered Skin Cancer Prevention Program for Schools

  • Raeann DavisEmail author
  • Lois J. Loescher
  • Jillian Rogers
  • Denise Spartonos
  • Aimee Snyder
  • Stephanie Koch
  • Robin B. Harris
Article

Abstract

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the USA and is increasing in children and young adults. Adolescents are an important target population for sun-safety interventions with ultraviolet radiation as the strongest risk factor for developing skin cancer. Schools are an ideal setting to intervene with adolescents. A novel Arizona skin cancer prevention in-class education-activity program, Project ‘Students are Sun Safe’ (SASS), was designed to be delivered by university students for middle school and high school students. Participant students completed the pre- and post-program tests and a satisfaction questionnaire; teachers completed reviews. The evaluation examined the program’s influence on participants’ sun-safety knowledge, perceptions, and behaviors; satisfaction with the program; and intent to change. After exposure to Project SASS, participants were more likely to perceive a high risk of skin cancer, report negative attitudes toward tanned skin, and answer knowledge-based questions correctly. There were minimal differences in self-reported sun-safety behaviors, though participants did report intent to change. Both participants and teachers were satisfied with the program. Project SASS appears to be an effective sun-safety program for middle school and high school students for knowledge and perceptions, and the results confirm that appropriately tailoring program components to the target population has strong potential to impact adolescent perceived susceptibility, knowledge, and behavioral intent. The strengths and weaknesses of Project SASS have many implications for public health practice, and Project SASS may hold promise to be a model for skin cancer prevention in adolescents.

Keywords

Sun safety Sun protection Adolescents Peer education School-based prevention programs High school Middle school Melanoma Skin neoplasms Prevention Ultraviolet radiation Tanning Skin cancer prevention 

Notes

Acknowledgement

The authors would like to thank the University of Arizona Foundation, Bert W. Martin Foundation, and the Tucson community, whose generous contributions made the start of Project SASS possible and continue to sustain the program today.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raeann Davis
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lois J. Loescher
    • 3
    • 1
  • Jillian Rogers
    • 4
  • Denise Spartonos
    • 5
  • Aimee Snyder
    • 1
  • Stephanie Koch
    • 1
    • 5
  • Robin B. Harris
    • 1
  1. 1.Zuckerman College of Public HealthThe University of ArizonaArizonaUSA
  2. 2.University of California DavisDavisUSA
  3. 3.College of NursingThe University of ArizonaArizonaUSA
  4. 4.Scottsdale HealthcareArizona State UniversityArizonaUSA
  5. 5.Skin Cancer InstituteThe University of Arizona Cancer CenterArizonaUSA

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