Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2012; 1(4):(44-322)


Knowledge about health effects of sun exposure, attitudes, and intention to screen for skin cancer: Findings from the Pennsylvania Cancer Education Network

Longjian Liu, Jamiliyah Gilliam, Kathleen Zitka, Lisa Ulmer

Abstract

Skin cancer is reaching an epidemic and is the most common type of cancer in the United States with more than 1 million cases diagnosed annually. Using a pre-test and post-test study design, we compared participants’ (n=800) knowledge (K), attitudes about skin cancer (A), and intention to screen (I) after their participating in a one-hour health education session that seeks to builds trust, discuss health information, and encourage action. The results show that this educational session had a significant proximal impact on subjects’ KAI status. Average knowledge scores on skin cancer prevention significantly increased, average attitude scores indicating that screening is embarrassing or painful, significantly decreased, and intention to screen scores significantly increased. Participants with higher education levels had higher favorable scores. In conclusion, the proximal results of the skin cancer education program suggest that an action-oriented participatory health education may play a pivotal role in improving skin cancer prevention.

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