Publication Abstract

Authors: Coups EJ, Stapleton JL, Hudson SV, Medina-Forrester A, Natale-Pereira A, Goydos JS

Title: Sun protection and exposure behaviors among Hispanic adults in the United States: differences according to acculturation and among Hispanic subgroups.

Journal: BMC Public Health 12:985-

Date: 2012 Nov 15

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Skin cancer prevention interventions that target the growing number of U.S. Hispanics are lacking. The current study examined the prevalence and correlates of sun protection and exposure behaviors (i.e., sunscreen use, shade seeking, use of sun protective clothing, and sunburns) among U.S. Hispanics with sun sensitive skin, with a focus on potential differences according to acculturation and Hispanic origin. METHODS: The sample consisted of 1676 Hispanic adults who reported having sun sensitive skin (i.e., they would experience a sunburn if they went out in the sun for one hour without protection after several months of not being in the sun). Participants completed survey questions as part of the nationally representative 2010 National Health Interview Survey. Analyses were conducted in August 2012. RESULTS: Greater acculturation was linked with both risky (i.e., not wearing sun protective clothing) and protective (i.e., using sunscreen) sun-related practices and with an increased risk of sunburns. Sun protection and exposure behaviors also varied according to individuals' Hispanic origin, with for example individuals of Mexican heritage having a higher rate of using sun protective clothing and experiencing sunburns than several other subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: Several Hispanic subpopulations (e.g., those who are more acculturated or from certain origins) represent important groups to target in skin cancer prevention interventions. Future research is needed to test culturally relevant, tailored interventions to promote sun protection behaviors among U.S. Hispanics. Such initiatives should focus on public health education and increasing healthcare provider awareness of the importance of skin cancer prevention among Hispanics.