The U.S. Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called on the nation’s schools to help prevent skin cancer by implementing sun safety practices and policies. The Sun Safe Schools program was designed by Klein Buendel researchers and collaborators in response to those calls to action. The program was implemented and evaluated with 118 public elementary schools in California school districts with formal sun safety policy. Administrators of schools randomized to the Sun Safe Schools intervention group received phone and email support for implementing school sun safety practices by trained coaches over 20 months.
A significant part of the program evaluation — an economic analysis — has been e-published ahead of print in the American Journal of Health Promotion. The lead author is Dr. Richard Meenan, a Senior Investigator and Health Economist from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon.
The publication reports the methods, analyses, results, conclusions, and limitations of the economic analysis. Sun Safe Schools program delivery costs were micro-costed and self-reported school practices were organized into ten categories that were assigned labor and non-labor costs. Across 53 intervention schools, per-student delivery costs averaged $0.69, of which $0.44 represented school administrator time. Program delivery costs, the costs of implementing sun safety practices (such as student education, parent outreach, and shade construction), and predictors of costs are detailed in the publication.
The authors conclude that a program of phone and email coaching of elementary school administrators in school districts with formal sun safety policies can stimulate implementation of sun safety practices at a reasonable cost. The results can assist school administrators with the implementation of sun safety practices.
The Sun Safe Schools program was a collaborative research effort of Claremont Graduate University (CGU), the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, and Klein Buendel. The research was funded by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (HD074416; Dr. Kim Reynolds, CGU, and Dr. David Buller, Klein Buendel, Multiple Principal Investigators). Other collaborators included Dr. Richard Meenan from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research; Dr. Jeff Ashley from Sun Safety for Kids in Los Angeles, California; Kim Massie previously from CGU; and Julia Berteletti, Xia (Lucia) Liu, and Mary Buller from Klein Buendel.