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Consistency of reported tanning behaviors and sunburn history among sorority and fraternity students

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Reliable measurements of behavior are crucial to evaluating health promotion efforts. The goal of this reliability study was to examine the consistency of recalled tanning behaviors in a population with a potentially high use. Methods:

We used the test–retest reliability of a self-administered survey to examine the consistency of reporting behavior patterns regarding artificial ultraviolet (UV) tanning, sunburns and sun sensitivity among sorority- and fraternity-affiliated university students. Results:

High reliability on test–retest for questions evaluating the number of artificial UV tanning sessions and the number of sunburns during specific time periods was found. Conclusions:

Overall, this study suggests that this sub-population of 18–23-year-olds, with a wider range of exposures than other 18–23-year-olds and older subjects, report lifetime artificial UV tanning consistently when required to recall time period-specific exposures before estimating their lifetime exposure.

Keywords: reproducibility of results; skin neoplasms; ultraviolet rays

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA, 2: Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA, and 3: School of Health and Sports Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Ql, Australia

Publication date: August 1, 2008


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