Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Evaluation of Cognitive and Behavioral Effects of Peer Education Model-Based Intervention to Sun Safe in Children

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Evaluation of Cognitive and Behavioral Effects of Peer Education Model-Based Intervention to Sun Safe in Children

Article excerpt


High UV radiation in sunlight can contribute most to the development of diseases such as melanoma, basal-cell carcinoma and cataract in later life (1, 2). The number of new-onset skin cancer patients is continually growing (3). Study has shown that 1 in 6 individuals will develop a form of skin cancer during their Lifetime (4), and sunlight exposure was recognized as the major preventable cause of the skin cancer (5). Since solar UVB is the primary source of vitamin D, young people should be careful on avoiding burning and overexposure in the sun (3, 6). Appropriate measures of sun safe should be adopted, in order to decrease the risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (7).

Sun safe is a double-edged sword. UV radiation plays an important role on human growth and de- velopment (8). It can kill or suppress bacteria on the skin's surface and the right amount of it can promote 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin into vitamin D3, enhance the excitability and stress ability of sympathetic-epinephrine system, en- hance human immunity and promote certain hor- mones secretion. People with higher serum 25(OH) D concentrations prone to develop high- er bone mass density (9, 10).

The children are in the critical period of physical and mental development, Sun safe is an important factor in promoting their physical development. On the other hand, Childhood is considered to be a critical period of vulnerability to the effects of exposure to toxic agents (3). It is much easier damage by UV radiation. Epidemiological evi- dence suggests that sunburn in childhood may be more harmful than later in life (11), increasing the risk of skin cancer, and that prevention and early detection are crucial in reducing morbidity and mortality from skin cancer (12, 13). Children at- tending elementary schools are in the most danger of acquiring these diseases later in life (14). The study of Yang Zhusheng et al. (15) and Li Chen et al. (16) reported the result of students on the sun safe's radiation related risks and measures of pro- tection is not satisfied, so we need to strengthen publicity and education in this area, and to obtain some relevant information.

The increase in the incidence of skin cancer is due to each individual's behavior regarding sun protec- tion (17-19). The degree to which children are willing to perform sun protection consistently is especially important (20). Some Western countries have carried out more cognitive activities relating to the sun safe damage, which helps to reduce ju- venile sunburn and skin cancer incidence (21, 22), but little study on sun safe intervention model in China. Furthermore, peer education model, widely used in AIDS and drug use education (23), has not been applied on sun safe intervention.

In this study, we used the peer education mode of health education to improve children's sun safe cognition, prompt them to establish health's atti- tude and choose good sun safe behavior. This model can effectively solve the problem of lack of teaching staff and it also can improve the quality of health and children's ability of self-education. On the other hand, through step-by-step guide by peer educator's effort, higher geometric series of teaching scope and effect should be achieved (24).

Materials and Methods


Cluster random control intervention was con- ducted in one district in Chongqing, China. The survey was carried out according to the following study flowchart.


According to the formula (ProQuest: ... denotes formula omitted.), note: π for the estimation of the overall rate of 0.5, δ is permissible error 5%, α=0.05), we calculated the required sample size.

In February 2009, one district (Jiulongpo) was chosen out randomly in Chongqing, Southwest China (We used random numbers generated by computer in randomization). After considering the comparability of school, two primary schools were chosen out randomly in this district, which overall strength of the two schools are similar. …

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