Teens teach skin cancer prevention.
Reding DJ; Fischer V; Gunderson P; Lappe K; Anderson H; Calvert G
J Rural Health 1996 Dec; 12(S4):265-272
Cumulative sun exposure has been linked to about 95 percent of all skin cancers. Farmers and their families, by nature of their occupations, are exposed to an abundance of sun over a long period of time and, therefore, are at an increased risk for skin cancer. Because education is known to be a primary means of health, Future Farmers of America (FFA) peer facilitators (teen educators) provided third graders in rural communities sun protection education with the hope that the message would reach the entire family. The FFA facilitators (n=227) from 39 FFA organizations throughout Wisconsin were trained with skin cancer and sun protection information. The FFA facilitators then gave presentations on sun protection to third graders (n=2,007) in their school districts. Control schools included 57 facilitators and 669 third graders. Evaluation involved pre-, post-, and six-month follow-up surveys testing knowledge gained by the third graders. Students who correctly responded to a question on the post-survey after incorrectly answering it on the pre-survey were said to have had a knowledge gain for that question. By using chi-square tests, the intervention group demonstrated a statistically significant (P<O.001) higher proportion of students experiencing knowledge gain than did the control group from pre- to post-surveys for nine of the 10 questions. Summary statistics were used to describe the study population. In addition to skin cancer knowledge questions, the survey of facilitators included sun protection behavior and attitude questions. This intervention was able to use peer educators as instructors to demonstrate knowledge gain in the youths of the target population. The pilot project materials costs were $0.55 per third grade student and $3.50 per facilitator. Using a school-based organization such as FFA provided a cost-efecfive means of reaching the rural population.
Agricultural-workers; Age-groups; Teaching; Cancer; Skin-cancer; Farmers; Education; Disease-prevention; Families; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Sunburns; Sunscreening-agents; Behavior; Health-surveys; Questionnaires
Douglas I. Reding, MD, FACP, Oncologist Hematologist, Marshfeld Clinic, 1000 N. Oak Ave., Marshfeld, WI 54449
The Journal of Rural Health