Dr. Richard Meenan presented cost analysis data from the Sun Safe Workplaces project at the 4th International Conference on UV and Skin Cancer Prevention in Toronto, Canada May 1-4, 2018. His presentation focused on an estimated cost of delivering a sun protection policy intervention to public-sector employers in Colorado. The cost of occupational skin cancer prevention interventions poses challenges for organizations delivering interventions and employers that implement sun protection for outdoor workers.
The Sun Safe Workplaces (SSW) intervention promoted occupational sun protection policies and education to 98 public-sector employers in a randomized controlled trial. Intervention components included in-person meetings and follow-up contact by email and telephone with senior managers, in-person trainings for employees, and printed educational materials sent to the workplace. Using a micro-costing approach, costs to the intervening organization were determined from the project accounting system supplemented by external sources. Costs to employers were estimated from responses to semi-structured interviews in a two-year follow-up with 34 senior managers on implementing sun protection education and other actions to support employee sun safety and were presented at the conference. Employers incurred highest average costs for implementing onsite sun safety training, primarily the estimated value of employee time in attendance.
Costs to employers are likely a barrier to acting on skin cancer prevention. In the SSW trial, employers appeared to incur more costs than the intervening organization. Strategies to control employer costs should be considered when designing occupational skin cancer prevention interventions. Costs will be used to determine: (1) the incremental cost of the SSW intervention (ignoring development and research costs) and (2) the incremental cost of the employers’ skin cancer prevention education and policy adoption actions induced by the SSW intervention.
This research was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (RO1CA187191; Dr. David Buller, Klein Buendel, Principal Investigator). Collaborators include Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Rachel Eye, and Mary Buller from Klein Buendel; Dr. Richard Meenan from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon; and Dr. Allan Wallis from the University of Colorado Denver.
Klein Buendel was one of the North American hosts of the UV 2018 conference. The conference was 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 in Ottawa, and Klein Buendel in Denver.