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Issue 4, 2010
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Knowledge, motivation, and behavior patterns of the general public towards sun protection

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Abstract

The general public has long been educated about the harms of ultraviolet (UV) exposure and the benefits of photoprotection. Many organizations have worked in close collaboration to deliver the photoprotection message through a variety of programs. Most address the health-related consequences of UV radiation, although appearance-based strategies have also been initiated. As is common with preventative health measures, these intervention efforts have not resulted in meaningful changes in public behavior despite providing seemingly adequate knowledge to do so. Behaviors are often difficult to change on a societal, personal, and biological level. Within these categories, there are unique reasons for the unsatisfactory outcome with photoprotection such as (1) tan is perceived as beautiful, (2) the knowledge conveyed is often superficial, (3) there is a lack of immediate risk/reward, and (4) UV has reinforcing effects on mood. We propose that better results could be achieved by creating interventions focused on demographic subsets of the population. Specific techniques include anti-tanning legislature, age or gender-based screening campaigns, anti-tan beauty campaigns, and UV photography. Future photoprotection messages should shift from purely promoting knowledge to inspiring improvements in behavior with targeted strategies.

Graphical abstract: Knowledge, motivation, and behavior patterns of the general public towards sun protection

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Oct 2009, accepted on 06 Nov 2009 and first published on 12 Feb 2010


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/B9PP00122K
Citation: Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2010,9, 432-438
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    Knowledge, motivation, and behavior patterns of the general public towards sun protection

    J. M. Goulart and S. Q. Wang, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2010, 9, 432
    DOI: 10.1039/B9PP00122K

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