A Randomized Study of Shade Sails and Passive Recreation in Public Parks in Two Hemispheres

A Randomized Study of Shade Sails and Passive Recreation in Public Parks in Two Hemispheres

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer1 but the primary risk factor for skin cancer, UV exposure, is the most avoidable.2 Purpose-built shade not only reduces UV exposure,3 it can also come with other benefits like provide protection without requiring planning4 and may even provide protection for individuals with negative attitudes towards sun safety who seek shade to keep cool.5

In a recent publication in American Journal of Public Health, KB’s Dr. David Buller, Mary Buller and collaborators in Australia, at the University of Melbourne (Dr. Dallas English) and Cancer Council Victoria, (Dr. Suzanne Dobbinson) conducted a stratified randomized study in Melbourne, Australia and Denver, Colorado where shade sails were built in 1 of 2 passive recreation areas (PRAs) in full sun in 144 parks (71 in Melbourne and 73 in Denver). The use of the PRAs with shade sails built as part of the study were compared with the nearby non-shaded PRAs for use by park visitors. The authors tested two hypotheses – the first being that the introduction of shade sails over PRAs would increase the use of these PRAs by visitors compared to unshaded PRAs – and the second being that the increase in use of shaded PRAs would be larger in Melbourne, Australia than Denver, Colorado due to stronger norms for sun safety in Australia than the United States.

Public parks enrolled in the study had to contain at least two unshaded PRAs that were in full sun at pretest, and one of the two PRAs had to contain a space where a shade sail could be constructed. Trained observers made observations at the PRAs for 30-minute periods on four weekend days during a 20-week period in the summer months for each city at pretest and posttest to determine the number of visitors during peak UV hours (11 am to 3 pm). Shade sails were designed to be attractive while also providing shade during peak UV times and the shade cloth selected reduced UV by at least 94%.

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Collaborator Spotlight: Areli Chacón Silva, PhD

Collaborator Spotlight: Areli Chacón Silva, PhD

Areli Chacón Silva, Ph.D., is the Interim Director of the Leadership Studies Program at the University of Texas at El Paso. She has a BA in International Business from Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) (1996), an MBA from Angelo State University (1999), and a PhD in Economics from the University of La Havana (2011). Her research explores the Latino market in the United States, as well as business expansion opportunities for Mexican businesses. She has experience researching the cultural values of Latinos in America.

Currently, Dr. Chacón Silva is working with KB as a collaborating scientist with Dr. Gill Woodall and Dr. David Buller on WayToServe Español: A Culturally-Appropriate Online Responsible Beverage Service Training for Spanish-Speaking Servers (R44MD010405; Dr. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator). This research project is funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health. On this project, she will assist with the creation of culturally-appropriate content and the translation of the English WayToServe® online responsible alcohol server training program to Spanish. She will ensure that the translation is compatible with the values and needs of workers in Spanish language-dominant bars and restaurants. The randomized control trial will take place at Spanish-dominant businesses in the Southwestern region of the United States.

In addition to her research collaboration with KB, Dr. Chacón Silva serves as Chair of the Curriculum Development Committee of the (L.E.A.D. Program) for Wise Latina International, a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and empower Latinas and women of all walks of life to overcome barriers, to be self-reliant, to become leaders, and to act as agents of change in our communities.

Dr. Chacón Silva served on the Editorial Board Member Committee at the International Case Center of Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) from 2008 to 2012. Her research has appeared in the International Journal of Case Method Research and Application and other scholarly outlets. She has worked as a consultant in international business, leadership, and business logistics since 2001.

Dr. Chacón Silva is also the co-author of the book ¡Reconquest! Advice for Business Owners in Chihuahua to do Business with Latinos in the US (2010). The book presents the results of research funded by CONACYT (National Science and Technology Fund of Mexico: CHIH-2006-CO2-59483) to developing capacity building strategies for Chihuahuan business people to increase commerce with Latinos in the United States, through the concept of the nostalgia marketing.

Real Health Photos – International Women’s Day

Real Health Photos – International Women’s Day

March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD) around the globe. This year’s theme is Press for Progress — a call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues, and whole communities to think, act, and be, gender inclusive.

Started by the Suffragettes in the early 1900’s, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911. According to the IWD website, “International Women’s Day belongs to all communities everywhere – governments, companies, charities, educational institutions, networks, associations, the media and more. Whether through a global conference, community gathering, classroom lesson or dinner table conversation – everyone can play a purposeful part in pressing for gender parity.”

Women of all ages, races, ethnicities, sizes, shapes, disabilities, and capabilities are often the focus of targeted health promotion campaigns. Matching photographic images to a target population can improve the effectiveness of a health message, according to KB research. The message is more effective because the photographs increase the audience member’s identification with the message in a very real and visual way.

KB’s Real Health Photos® stock photography enterprise includes thousands of images to help improve the effectiveness of health promotion messages for targeted audiences. Real Health Photos® images show diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, age, income level, and health condition or physical ability.

Use Real Health Photos® for improving the impact of health campaigns for all kinds people.

Two Hispanic Women Walking and Talking OutsideA white women and a black woman talking and laughing outsideTwo Young Female Friends Drinking WaterMother, Daughter and Woman Doctor

For more images, visit Real Health Photos.

Real Health Photos Logo

Real Health Photos® is a stock photography service owned and operated by KB. It was created and evaluated with a research grant (MD003338, Mary Buller, PI) from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health. Real Health Photos® is designed to capture the diversity of health through photography and promote the inclusion of all Americans in health promotion materials and media.

Sun Safe Policies in Elementary Schools

Sun Safe Policies in Elementary Schools

School policies that improve sun safety for children are essential to comprehensive school-based skin cancer prevention. California was one of the first states that enacted legislation governing sun protection for students in public schools. In a research letter recently published in JAMA Dermatology, KB’s Julia Berteletti, Dr. David Buller and Lucia Liu along with collaborators at Claremont Graduate University and the non-profit organization, Sun Safety for Kids, looked at how elementary schools in California adopted a policy for sun safety as recommended by the California School Boards Association (CSBA), a nonprofit membership-based education association representing elected officials who govern public school districts.

The Sample Policy, created through a collaboration with CSBA during a previous study, was based on sun safety recommendations put forth by California law and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and was disseminated to member school districts. The authors examined the content of sun safety policies for any deviation from the Sample Policy for 190 member districts that included elementary schools, subscribed to CSBA policy services, and posted their Board Policy online. The sun safety content of the Sample Policy and each districts’ sun safety policy was coded in 11 categories, such as sunscreen use, UV protective clothing, student education, and shade provision. Each policy was scored on content per category, strength of action specified, and intent for sun protection.

The majority of policies addressed sunscreen, protective clothing and hats. Most included shade, scheduling of outdoor activities to avoid peak UV hours, staff modeling and parent outreach. 75% of policies included student education. Educating teachers, resource allocation, and accountability were addressed in almost no policies. Also, 40% of districts altered their own policy to remove some content from the CSBA Sample Policy. The most frequently removed items were student education, outdoor shade or parent outreach. Authors also found that districts that removed content had significantly more students and administrators than those that adopted the Sample Policy verbatim.

Authors concluded that the CSBA played an influential role in the school districts’ adoption of sun safety policy and suggest that establishing a partnership with a similar association could be an important part of achieving school-based skin cancer prevention.

This research was funded by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01HD074416; Dr. Kim Reynolds, Claremont Graduate University and Dr. David Buller, KB, Principal Investigators).

KB to Co-Host International UV Conference May 1-4, 2018

KB to Co-Host International UV Conference May 1-4, 2018

Klein Buendel is a proud North American organizer and host of the 4th International Conference on UV and Skin Cancer Prevention being held May 1-4, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The 2018 conference is being organized by a joint planning committee of skin cancer prevention experts in Canada and the United States from Ryerson University in Toronto, the Canadian Dermatology Association, and Klein Buendel.

The UV and Skin Cancer Prevention conferences provide an innovative scientific program that showcases the work of the international skin cancer prevention community. The previous conferences have been held in Copenhagen, Denmark (2011), Berlin, Germany (2013), and Melbourne, Australia (2015) and have attracted international experts in skin cancer prevention, UV radiation science, dermatology, allied behavioral and clinical disciplines and members of the environmental planning and design communities who are working in the field of UV and skin cancer prevention. The conferences have been organized by local planning committees dedicated to advancing skin cancer prevention.

The Toronto conference will feature multiple concurrent sessions and poster sessions addressing primary and secondary prevention, school settings, worksites, shade design, sun safety campaigns, indoor tanning trends, sunscreen, and more.

Special plenary sessions will address:

  • New Research Methods for Skin Cancer Prevention
  • Issues in Dissemination of Skin Cancer Prevention Interventions
  • Second Generation Audiences for Skin Cancer Prevention
  • Environmental Issues in Skin Cancer Prevention
  • Screening for Skin Cancer Prevention

Four additional workshops will be held on May 1st:

  • Sun Safety and Skin Health in Youth
  • Young Adulthood Physical Activity
  • Skin Smart Campus
  • Online, Mobile, and Social Media Interventions

To see the program-at-a-glance, speakers, and registration information, visit…

4th International Conference on UV and Skin Cancer Prevention


KB’S 2017 Research and Outreach Accomplishments and Other Highlights

KB’S 2017 Research and Outreach Accomplishments and Other Highlights

The year 2017 flew by, but we have taken time to reflect on what we have done at Klein Buendel (KB) to achieve our primary goal of creating and evaluating effective programs and products for health promotion and disease prevention. We are thankful for the research, education, and outreach opportunities that we have participated in, and we are looking forward to continuing our efforts in 2018. Details of some of our 2017 accomplishments and publications are listed below. The names of KB investigators and staff are bolded.


  • In June, KB celebrated its 15th anniversary as a small woman-owned business.
  • In August, one of our Senior Scientists, Valerie Myers, was made a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
  • We were awarded 3 new prime grants and 1 subcontract.
  • We completed 7 prime and subcontract research projects.
  • KB scientists and staff presented research findings at 6 national and international conferences (19 posters or presentations).
  • KB scientists, collaborators, and staff published 12 papers of research findings in peer-reviewed journals.

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Welcome to the new KB Collaboratory!

Welcome to the new KB Collaboratory!

Welcome to the new KB Collaboratory – a fresh new edition of Klein Buendel’s blog. The KB Collaboratory complements our newly-designed website and disseminates timely information about our behavioral health research and collaborations.

Because we’re a “small bunch,” KB’s behavioral scientists, research staff, and developers collaborate with researchers, clinicians, and creatives from companies, universities, research institutes, and cancer centers around the world to design programs and products to prevent chronic disease. Along with our research publications, conference presentations, website, and social media, this blog is a dynamic outlet for sharing the health communication, education, and technology research that we do in collaboration with our distinguished research, business, and creative partners.

Watch for articles and features in the KB Collaboratory on our:

  • Research collaborators
  • Abstracts and conference presentations
  • Publications
  • New research projects
  • Technology and products
  • Outreach and education
  • News and announcements

If you’d like to get in touch, please email Mary Buller at mbuller@kleinbuendel.com.