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Sun-exposure knowledge and protection behavior in a North Chinese population: a questionnaire-based study

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Sun exposure can cause a range of skin disorders. Skin damage can be prevented by following certain sun-protection measures. However, the majority of reported studies regarding sun-exposure knowledge and behavior have involved Caucasian populations. Methods:

A self-administered multiple-choice questionnaire was administered. The questionnaire consisted of 13 questions aimed at evaluating people's knowledge, awareness, and protection behavior regarding sun exposure, and their knowledge of sunscreens and sunscreen use. Results:

A total of 623 volunteers were enrolled, including 238 men (38.2%) and 385 women (61.8%). The percentages of correct answers regarding sun-exposure knowledge and awareness ranged from 50% to 80%. Overall, 58.8% used sunscreen as a sun-protection measure in daily life, followed by use of protective clothes (49.3%), sun umbrella (45.4%), sunglasses (45.3%), and hat (42.2%). Fifty-two percent thought that suntan was harmful or not attractive. The mean sun-protection factor (SPF) of the sunscreens used was 27.7 ± 9.2 and the mean UVA protection grade (PA) was 2.3 ± 0.6. Conclusions:

Knowledge and awareness concerning the harmful effects of sun exposure are widespread among the Chinese population. Sunscreens with high SPF and PA are the most commonly used among Chinese people. Clear sex differences were observed. There is a significant difference in the attitude toward suntan between Chinese and Caucasian populations.

Keywords: behavior; protection; sun exposure; sunscreen

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Dermatology, Beijing Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China 2: 63918 Hospital, People's Liberation Army Forces, Beijing, China 3: Department of Orthopedics 4: Department of Neurology, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China 5: Government of Jinzhan County, Beijing, China, and 6: Meitan General Hospital, Beijing, China

Publication date: 2010-08-01

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