What Turkish Nurses Know and Do about Skin Cancer and Sun Protective Behavior

Andsoy I. I., Gul A., Sahin A. O., KARABACAK H.

ASIAN PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CANCER PREVENTION, vol.14, no.12, pp.7663-7668, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Background: Skin cancer is a global health problem that can be prevented by protective behavior promoted by nurses. In Turkey, only few studies have examined current knowledge of nurses related to skin cancer and to reveal their attitudes towards sun exposure and current protective behavior. Materials and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was performed from March 11 to May 30, 2013 with a study sample of 310 nurses working in two state hospitals located in Karabuk and Safranbolu. Results: Mean age of the nurses was 30.3 +/- 6.89 years and 96.1% of them had graduated with a Bachelor degree. The participants were predominantly female (n=284). Knowledge level about skin cancer was significantly higher for females compared to males. Conclusions: Nurses do not have sufficient knowledge about skin cancer and are not adequately protecting themselves from ultraviolet light, the primary risk factor for skin cancer. While they demonstrated a responsible attitude towards avoiding sunburn and the need for adequate sun protection, they do not fully appreciate the extent to which the sun can cause skin cancer and that they lack full understanding about the need to protect the skin from burning and to avoid long term sun exposure in Turkey.