There are no successful sun protection strategies proven to reduce sunburn incidence among adolescents. Our objective was to evaluate the impact of ultraviolet (UV) photographs on motivating adolescents to improve sun protection practices and reduce sunburn rates. We designed an intervention in a community setting and recruited middle school students (aged 11-13 years) from the Northeast. There were 111 students who completed the study, 83 in the intervention school and 28 in the control school. All students received a sun protection lecture. Students in the intervention group received a UV photograph of their face, with detailed explanations of the findings at baseline. Follow-up surveys at 2 and 6 months were obtained. Outcome measures included attitudes and behavior relating to sun protection practices. The impact of specialized photography on teens' sun protection attitudes was assessed by risk status, recent sunburn experience, and possession of UV photographs. In both schools, the rate of sunburn was high, with almost half experiencing one or more summer sunburns. A majority of students in the intervention group kept their UV photographs and found it helpful in assessing their skin cancer risk. Students with many or a lot of facial freckles in the intervention group were significantly less likely to report a sunburn at 2 (p < .004) and 6 months (p < .0004) as compared with students in the control school. The use of UV photographs among teens could help motivate them to protect themselves and limit the number of sunburns.
Marie-France Demierre, MD and Carol Williams, Department of Dermatology, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.
Maryellen Maguire-Eisen, RN, MSN, Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation, Hingham, Massachusetts.
Noreen O'Connell, RN, MSN and Kathleen Sorenson, RN, BSN, Quincy Public Schools, Quincy, Massachusetts.
Jennifer Berger, MD, St. Luke Roosevelt Hospital, New York, New York.
Howard Cabral, PhD, MPH, Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
All authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest.
This research was funded in part by the La Roche Posay North American Foundation and the Dermatology Nurses' Association Research Grant sponsored by the Ortho-Neutrogena Corporation.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Marie-France Demierre, MD, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02118. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org