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Sun Safety Curriculum for Grades K-5 is Now Free for Schools

Sun Safety Curriculum for Grades K-5 is Now Free for Schools

Sunny Days Healthy Ways, an evidence-based sun safety curriculum that provides sun protection education for grades K-5, is now available free online by its authors at Klein Buendel, Inc. Schools can use the curriculum to fulfill the school-based goals of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer.

“I was inspired to remove any barriers to schools having access to the curriculum by previous Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak’s impassioned presentation at the 4th Annual Conference on UV and Skin Cancer Prevention,” explained Mary Buller, President of Klein Buendel.

Sunny Days Healthy Ways provides an average of 15 lessons per grade, that teachers can tailor to their timeframe and needs. Prepared lesson plans, student activity sheets, storybooks, learning objectives, and common core standards minimize prep time and make teaching students about sun safety easy. Project-based learning and technology connections make it fun.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and is increasing at an alarming rate. Even though skin cancer occurs mainly in adults, much of the damage was likely done during childhood. Long periods of unprotected sun exposure and severe sunburning as a child can lead to skin cancer and eye damage later in life. Good health habits started in childhood are more likely to last a lifetime.

Sunny Days Healthy Ways was first created and evaluated with research grants from the National Cancer Institute (CA62968 & CA23074) and the Arizona Disease Control Research Commission (9403). To access the free curriculum, visit the Sunny Days Healthy Ways website at https://www.sdhw.info/.

Effect of an Occupational Skin Cancer Prevention Program on Employee Sun Safety Practices

Effect of an Occupational Skin Cancer Prevention Program on Employee Sun Safety Practices

Exposure to the sun’s UV rays is the biggest risk factor for skin cancer. It is also the easiest risk factor to modify through practicing sun-safe behaviors. Outdoor workers are at an elevated risk for skin cancer, especially melanoma, due to the amount of UV exposure they endure over the years. In a recent ePub-ahead-of-print paper in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Klein Buendel’s Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Dr. David Buller, Ms. Mary Buller and their co-authors discuss the outcomes of the follow-up assessment to Sun Safe Workplaces, a workplace sun safety program that promoted sun safety policy adoption and education.

Two years after the Sun Safe Workplaces intervention, a follow-up assessment was conducted to determine the impact of the program on employee sun safety behavior. All participants of the original intervention (n=98) were invited to partake in the two-year assessment and 63 (n=33 for intervention, n=30 for control) participated. The sample included local government organizations throughout Colorado with outdoor workers in at least one of the following service areas: parks and recreation, public works, and public safety. Project staff visited each employer to evaluate the sun protection policies in place, sun protection messages, and personal sun protection equipment available at each organization. An assessment of the sun safety policies was conducted that included three domains (administrative procedures, environmental controls, and personal protection practices) with 15 content categories. Additionally, policy implementation was measured through senior manager and line supervisor reports on whether or not employers communicated or provided training about sun safety to employees and/or provided any of the types of the recommended personal sun protection equipment for employees (sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or outdoor shade). Lastly, key contact managers were asked to assist study staff with distributing self-administered surveys to front-line supervisors and employees who worked outdoors, which included time spent outdoors at work, frequency of sun protection at work, prevalence of sunburn in the past 12 months on the job, attitudes toward occupational sun safety and self-efficacy for sun safety on the job, attitudes toward workplace health and sun safety policy, and job and demographic information. A total of 1,784 (n=913 for intervention, n=871 for control) outdoor workers completed surveys.

Results showed that compared to control workplaces, employees in the intervention workplaces reported more sun protection practices overall as well as more frequent use of sunscreen on the body, wearing of wide-brimmed hats, and more often had sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat with them when at work. Employees in the intervention workplaces also reported fewer sunburns than those in the control workplaces. Additionally, sun protection messages and equipment, as well as employee training in sun safety, were more likely to occur in intervention workplaces and such actions increased the frequency of employees having sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat on the job.  For employees at employers with a best-practice policy, the total composite sun safety score was significantly higher than in the no-policy group and employees also reported more frequent use of sunscreen on the face and other exposed body parts and having sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat with them while at work compared to those at no-policy employers. However, unlike the intervention group, there was no effect of policy on the prevalence of sunburns among the employees.

The authors concluded that policy adoption is an important step towards improving sun protection and preventing sunburns on the job for outdoor workers but recommend that a robust approach that includes a policy, training for employees, and personal protection equipment that can support sun safety is needed to effectively change employees’ sun protection behaviors.

This research was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (RO1CA134705; Dr. David Buller and Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Principal Investigators). Coauthors included Ms. Mary Buller, Dr. Alan Wallis from University of Colorado Denver, Dr. Richard Meenan from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Dr. Gary Cutter from Pythagoras, Dr. Peter Andersen from San Diego State University, and Dr. Michael Scott from Mikonics.

 

Skin Cancer Awareness and the Great Outdoors

Skin Cancer Awareness and the Great Outdoors

In July, Klein Buendel (KB) teamed up with the Colorado Skin Cancer Task Force (CSCTF) and Rocky Mountain Sunscreen (RMS) for the first time in the summer to raise awareness about UV radiation and skin cancer prevention at the new-to-Denver Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at the Colorado Convention Center.

For nearly a decade, KB and the CSCTF partnered with RMS at the winter SnowSports Industries America Snow Show every January to show outdoor retailers that practicing sun safety is just as important in the winter months as in the summer months. Now we can access hundreds of outdoor retailers in the summer months in Denver, too, with the arrival of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.

Skin cancer prevention is particularly relevant for members of the outdoor retailer industry because they work and promote recreation in high UV environments, like mountains, deserts, lakes, and oceans. In addition to providing sun safety and skin cancer awareness information, the booth offered a unique opportunity for attendees to have a UV-damage photograph taken of their face with the Reveal Imager. The Reveal Imager by Canfield has the ability to capture damage caused by the sun’s UV rays that are invisible to the naked eye. Participants reported that seeing this type of photograph of themselves is a helpful visual reminder to practice sun safety all year long to reduce their risk of additional sun damage.

Per their website, “the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market is North America’s largest tradeshow in the outdoor industry drawing attendees from around the world. Summer Market is all about face-to-face—it’s where products are shown, orders are written, new accounts are found, connections are made and brands are launched. This show is about buying, sourcing, strategic meetings, trend, education and networking with decision makers, influencers, stakeholders, key buyers and athletes that influence the outdoor market.”

Over the course of the multi-day event, KB staff took dozens of photographs with the UV camera. Other members of the CSCTF (including Colorado dermatologists and dermatology interns) answered questions, distributed sun safety materials, and performed skin examinations. This event is part of the annual outreach and education efforts of the CSCTF. KB has been an active member of the CSCTF for over 10 years.

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sun Safety

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sun Safety

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with more than 5 million new cases diagnosed per year.1 As part of an effort to reduce incidence and mortality from skin cancer, the National Academy of Sciences hosted 19 experts from a variety of healthcare fields (including dermatology, behavioral medicine, public health, adolescent medicine, clinical health psychology, anthropology, and kinesiology). The experts, including Klein Buendel’s Director of Research, Dr. David Buller, met for two days in December 2016 to identify emerging themes in skin cancer prevention and control.

The report of this interdisciplinary collaboration and its five main culminating themes were published in JAMA Dermatology, a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Medical Association.

The Emerging Themes for Skin Cancer Prevention and Control

  1. Expanding the definition of risk in order to better tailor sun safety programs, create guidelines that acknowledge the beneficial effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure and develop strategies that involve those from diverse backgrounds (e.g. lower socioeconomic status, those with darker skin).
  2. Intertwining sun protection strategies and messages with other health-related strategies and messages, such as physical activity recommendations, in order to prevent increasing a person’s risk for one disease despite decreasing it for another.
  3. Tailoring sun safety messages using multiple components (e.g. place, weather, personal values, individual risk factors and motivations) to better persuade individual behavior change through novel channels such as smartphones and social media platforms.
  4. Recognizing excessive tanning as an addiction in order to enable proper education for clinicians to give a diagnosis and create more effective treatments, including the possibility for pharmacological treatments.
  5. Scaling up evidence-based interventions to increase the impact and achieve population-level skin cancer prevention through identifying the most appropriate dissemination and implementation methods that are also cost-effective, wide-reaching and lead to behavior change.

Authors, including Dr. Buller, conclude by stating that future expert meetings should focus on sun protection in the pediatric population and that future research to address these themes will need to be interdisciplinary to decrease the burden of skin cancer.

References

  1. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2018. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2018/cancer-facts-and-figures-2018.pdf. 2018. Accessed June 11, 2018.
Skin Cancer Prevention Messages on Facebook

Skin Cancer Prevention Messages on Facebook

Social media use among American adults has grown over the years – from just 5-in-10 in 2011 to seven-in-ten in 2018 – and reasons for using social media range from connecting with others to accessing news content to sharing information.1 With skin cancer still the most common among all cancers,2 it seems logical to use social media to promote and spread skin cancer prevention awareness. But is it effective?

In a recently published article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, KB’s Dr. Barbara Walkosz and Rachel Eye, along with other collaborators, aimed to review and classify skin cancer prevention messages from non-profit organizations on Facebook to determine which types garnered high engagement, such as likes, comments, and shares. Messages were identified using the following keywords: “skin cancer prevention,” “melanoma,” “melanoma prevention,” and “sun safety.” From May 2014 to May 2015, Facebook pages of 24 skin cancer groups’ and their 824 Facebook messages were coded for the following content: message format (narrative or didactic), motivation (skin cancer risk or appearance), persuasive appeal (social norm, fear, humor, altruism, celebrity story), behavioral target (sunscreen, hats, shade, avoid sunburn, indoor or outdoor tanning, skin exams), imagery, image content, and hyperlink. Engagement and frequency of message types were also determined.

Authors found that the majority of messages were didactic and focused on skin cancer occurrence and type but note that these approaches are not always effective in producing behavior change. Furthermore, the top three behavioral targets addressed were skin exams, indoor and outdoor tanning, and sunscreen use. Messages that were more didactic, appearance-based, myth-busting, used celebrity endorsements, and targeted self-exams received the most engagement. Messages without images received a higher rate of likes, shares and comments compared with messages that included images.

Limitations of the study include the inability to determine if those following the pages studied are representative of populations at risk for skin cancer and the potential of missed messages based on the keywords used for inclusion criteria. Authors state that collaborations between health institutes and researchers could identify characteristics of messages that are both effective for behavior change and produce high engagement rates in order to have the greatest impact on skin cancer prevention.

References

  1. Social media fact sheet. Pew Research Center Web site. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/. Published February 5, 2018. Accessed April 24, 2018.
  2. Key statistics for melanoma skin cancer. American Cancer Society Web site. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/melanoma-skin-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Updated January 4, 2018. Accessed April 24, 2018.
Effects of the Sun Safe Workplaces Program

Effects of the Sun Safe Workplaces Program

Occupational skin cancer prevention is an international priority. People who work outdoors are routinely exposed to high levels of ultraviolet radiation (UV), the primary risk factor for skin cancer. Dr. Barbara Walkosz from Klein Buendel presented findings from the Sun Safe Workplaces project and a follow-up assessment at the 68th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in Prague, Czech Republic, May 24-28, 2018.

Sun Safe Workplaces (SSW) was a communication theory-based workplace sun safety program for public organizations that employ people who work outdoors. Examples of outdoor work include road and bridge work, parks and recreation facilitation, sanitation and water works, and public safety. The original SSW project promoted the adoption of workplace sun safety policies in the public organizations and provided training in personal sun protection for outdoor workers in a randomized controlled trial. The follow-up study assessed the impact of SSW on employee sun safety behavior.

Sixty-one of the 98 public employers from the original study participated. Managers and line supervisors reported program implementation. A total of 1,784 outdoor workers (913 from the intervention group and 871 from the control group) completed surveys on personal sun protection practices.

In summary, employees’ sun protection improved statistically significantly in the intervention group receiving the SSW program. SSW’s effect on employee sun protection was mediated by the number of workplace actions to implement elements of sun safety policy including sun protection messages and equipment in the workplace and employee reports of training in sun safety.

This research was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (RO1CA187191; Dr. David Buller, Principal Investigator). In addition to Dr. Walkosz and Dr. Buller from Klein Buendel (KB), collaborators/co-authors included Mary Buller from KB; Dr. Allan Wallis from the University of Colorado Denver; Dr. Richard Meenan from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research; Dr. Michael Scott from Mikonics, Inc.; Dr. Peter Andersen from San Diego State University; and Dr. Gary Cutter from the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Cost of Occupational Sun Protection Policy Intervention Delivery

Cost of Occupational Sun Protection Policy Intervention Delivery

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.

Sun Safety Ink!

Sun Safety Ink!

Dr. Robert Dellavalle presented Sun Safety Ink! at the 4th International Conference on UV and Skin Cancer Prevention in Toronto, Canada May 1-4, 2018. His presentation focused on formative research conducted by Klein Buendel and the University of Colorado Denver to develop a skin cancer prevention training program for tattoo artists.

Twenty-five percent (25%) of American adults have a tattoo, and higher rates are found among younger generations. Sun safety promotions to young adults are significant because risk factors are elevated for this population. Tattoo artists may be ideal sources for delivering effective sun safety interventions to this hard-to-reach, at-risk population because sun safety is recommended for tattoo aftercare and the long-term.

Semi-structured interviews with tattoo artists and focus groups with tattooed individuals gathered input on the design of the Sun Safety Ink! (SSI!) online training program for tattoo artists. Tattoo artists had limited knowledge of skin cancer but reported that they alert clients if they observe skin abnormalities. All artists provided written and verbal aftercare instructions that included sun safety recommendations, but only for tattoos. Artists were interested in the SSI! training program. They suggested the use of video training scenarios to help artists learn to communicate with clients and that information about skin cancer (such as statistics and causes), conversation starters, and examples of sun safety practices be included.

Focus group participants had low levels of sun protection. Participants reported most artists do not discuss health topics but were positive about receiving skin cancer prevention messages, especially during lengthy tattoo sessions. Participants noted that sun safety advice from an artist might make a difference in protecting all of their skin not just tattoos. They recommended that artist deliver sun protection information multiple times while the client is getting the tattoo, during follow-up visits, by text message, in aftercare instructions with pictures or skin cancer facts, and via social media.

Both artists and clients were supportive of SSI! Artists are viewed as a trusted source of information and have the potential to impact clients’ sun safety practices. Suggestions regarding training content and format will be incorporated into an online training for tattoo artists.

This research was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (R01CA206569; Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Klein Buendel, Principal Investigator). Collaborators include Dr. David Buller, Mary Buller, Rachel Eye, and Savanna Olivas from Klein Buendel; and Dr. Dellavalle 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.

Costs of Sun Safety Policy Implementation in California Elementary Schools

Costs of Sun Safety Policy Implementation in California Elementary Schools

Dr. Richard Meenan is presenting cost analysis data from the Sun Safe Schools project at the 4th International Conference on UV and Skin Cancer Prevention in Toronto, Canada May 1-4, 2018. His presentation focuses on the estimated costs of delivering a sun protection policy intervention to public elementary schools in California.

Implementation of sun safety practices is an important element of efforts by elementary schools to prevent skin cancer among their students. However, cost can significantly impede such implementation. The Sun Safe Schools (SSS) trial provided technical assistance to 118 California public elementary schools interested in implementing sun safety practices consistent with district policy. Intervention components were primarily an initial intervention meeting with school administrators, and follow-up email and telephone communications. Schools chose from 47 possible practices to implement.

Using a micro-costing approach, intervention delivery costs to the intervening organization were determined from the project tracking database supplemented by external sources. Labor and non-labor practice costs incurred by schools were estimated using a project template, which three authors reviewed for reasonableness. The 47 practice codes were collapsed into ten categories, such as outdoor shade and parent outreach. The 58 intervention schools implemented a total of 128 practices. Thirty-seven schools implemented at least one practice. Most common practices were parent outreach, education of students, and teacher training. Data on the average cost of participating in the school-based sun safety intervention will be presented at the conference.

In summary, costs to schools may hinder action on implementation, so cost control strategies should be considered when designing school-based sun safety interventions. Next steps are to determine: (1) the incremental implementation cost of the SSS intervention and (2) the incremental cost of the schools’ sun safety education and policy adoption actions induced by SSS.

This research was supported by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (R01HD074416; Dr. Kim Reynolds, Claremont Graduate University, Principal Investigator). Collaborators include Kim Massie from Claremont Graduate University in California; Dr. David Buller, Julia Berteletti, and Mary Buller from Klein Buendel; Dr. Richard Meenan from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon; and Dr. Jeff Ashley from Sun Safety for Kids in Los Angeles, California.

Klein Buendel is 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.

Sun Safe Schools Program Implementation

Sun Safe Schools Program Implementation

Ms. Kim Massie is presenting a poster on the implementation of the Sun Safe Schools project at the 4th International Conference on UV and Skin Cancer Prevention in Toronto, Canada, May 1-4, 2018. The poster focuses on the delivery of a sun protection policy intervention to public elementary schools in California.

The U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer in 2014 emphasized the importance of sun safety for schools; however, there is limited information on how to effectively assist schools in implementing sun safety. The Sun Safe Schools project was developed to provide technical assistance to 118 public elementary schools in California with the implementation of sun safety practices consistent with district board policy for sun protection (BP 5141.7). A trained coach worked with principals to select sun safety practices within policy categories, such as education of students and parent outreach, and develop their implementation plan. The coach recorded all reported intervention activities within a tracking database including practice selection date, policy category, practice description, and implementation date.

A variety of practices, such as posting the UV Index and providing sunscreen, were implemented at 58 intervention schools. Practices were predominately implemented in the first 12 months of the 20-month program. Most practices were implemented in the spring. Low periods of implementation coincided with summer and winter breaks in the school calendar. The most frequently implemented practices included distributing sun safety information to parents, arranging sun safety presentations for students, and providing a sun safety webinar to staff. Policy categories most frequently implemented included education of students, parent outreach, and education of teachers.

Overall, working with schools presents unique challenges for implementation of sun safety. To be effective, implementation assistance should be designed around the school calendar and allow the principal to determine the pace and priorities.

This research was supported by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (R01HD074416; Dr. Kim Reynolds, Claremont Graduate University, Principal Investigator). Collaborators include Kim Massie and Brianne Freeth from Claremont Graduate University in California; Dr. David Buller, Julia Berteletti, and Mary Buller from Klein Buendel; and Dr. Jeff Ashley from Sun Safety for Kids, Inc. in Los Angeles, California.

Klein Buendel is 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.