GeneralOriginal Article

Predictors of Sunburn Risk Among Florida Residents

Sergey Arutyunyan, MS, OMS IV; Sarah V. Alfonso, BA; Nilda Hernandez, AA; Tracy Favreau, DO; and M. Isabel Fernández, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: October 10, 2016

Accepted: October 28, 2016

Published: March 1, 2017

J Osteopath Med; 117(3): 150-157

Context: The incidence of skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the United States, is increasing. Sunburn is a major modifiable risk factor for skin cancer, and its prevalence among the US population is high.

Objectives: To identify predictors of having had a red or painful sunburn in the past 12 months among people living in Florida.

Methods: Florida residents were recruited from public places and online. They were asked to complete an anonymous cross-sectional survey that assessed demographic information, dermatologic history, as well as knowledge, attitude, and behavior factors associated with sunburn.

Results: A total of 437 participants whose data were complete for all variables were included in the multivariate analysis. In multivariate logistic regression, younger age (18-29 years) was the most significant predictor of sunburn (OR, 15.26; 95% CI, 5.97-38.98; P<.001). Other significant predictors included identifying as nonwhite (OR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.29-0.90; P<.02), having had a full-body skin examination by a physician (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.03-3.14; P<.04), reporting higher levels of skin sensitivity to the sun (OR, 4.63; 95% CI, 2.07-10.34; P<.001), having a less favorable attitude toward sun protection (OR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.81-0.94; P<.001), having high perceived vulnerability to skin cancer (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.05-1.41; P<.009), and spending less than 1 hour outside between 10 am and 4 pm on weekends (OR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.22-0.96; P<.04). The model was statistically significant at P<.001 and correctly classified 78% of participants.

Conclusions: Sunburn prevention programs that osteopathic physicians can readily implement in clinical practice are urgently needed, particularly for young adult patients. This study identified 7 predictors of sunburn in Florida residents. With additional research findings, promoting attitude change toward sun protection may be a viable strategy.

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