C. Wong, R. Nixon
Introduction: Australia has the highest incidence of skin
cancer in the world, a preventable disease caused primarily
by exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in sunlight.
Health promotion strategies play a signiﬁcant role in sun
Method: A cross-sectional study was performed using
questionnaires completed at corporate skin checks in Melbourne,
Victoria. This was conducted on 668 participants
during 2011 to 2013.
Results: Over a quarter (n = 170, 25.4%) of participants did
not understand that sunburning was related to high levels of
UVR, which occur in summer. Almost a ﬁfth (n = 122, 18%)
associated the heat of February with highest UVR. Understanding
these concepts is important for Australians residing
in cooler parts of southern Australia, as UVR levels may
be high and yet the temperature may be relatively cool.
Conclusion: From a public health perspective, there needs
to be more emphasis on UVR in sun awareness campaigns
in order to prompt sun protective behaviours. It is also vital
for dermatologists to have an understanding of UVR concepts
and incorporate such patient education into their
routine skin assessments, as well as communicating the
complex message regarding obtaining adequate solar induced
Vitamin D, providing advice on the early detection
of skin cancers and recommending routine self examination.