Program

Nov 07, 2007

OVERVIEW

Sunny Days, Healthy Ways is a
sun safety curriculum for children in grades K through 8. In a random
assignment study evaluating the effectiveness of the Sunny Days, Healthy Ways
curriculum for middle school students, students in schools randomly assigned to
implement the curriculum were compared with students in schools assigned to
implement no intervention. Following the intervention period, students from
treatment schools reported engaging sun protection behaviors significantly more
frequently than did students from control schools. Treatment students had
greater knowledge of sun safety, perceived fewer barriers to using sunscreen,
and had less favorable attitudes toward tanning, as compared with control
students. Treatment students did not score significantly better than control
students on all measures of sun safety, however. On reports of recent sun
exposure, treatment students did not differ significantly from control
students.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target
population:
Children enrolled in grades K though 8

Sunny Days, Healthy Ways is a
cross-curricular approach to teaching skin cancer prevention skills to children
in grades K through 8. The intervention is based on social cognitive theory and
addresses prevention strategies such as selecting and applying sunscreen,
selecting sun protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses, using shade, and minimizing
time in the sun. The program encourages students to set sun protection goals,
monitor the progress of these goals, and overcome barriers to sun protection.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Buller, D. B., Reynolds, K. D., Yaroch, A., Cutter, G. R., Hines, J. M., Geno, C. R., Maloy, J. A., Brown,
M., Woodall, W. G., & Grandpre, J. (2006). Effects of the
Sunny Days, Healthy Ways
curriculum on students in grades 6 to 8. American Journal of
Preventative Medicine, 30
(1), 13-22.

Evaluated
population: 
The sample population consisted of 1769 students from 28 middle
schools in Arizona, Colorado,
and New Mexico.
78% of the sample was white, 6% was black, 8% was American Indian, and 8% was
Asian or Pacific Islander. About one-quarter reported being Hispanic.

Approach: 30
schools were selected to participate in this study, though two schools that
were paired were eliminated. Schools were matched into pairs and then
randomly assigned, within pairs, to either the control group or the treatment
group. Health education and science teachers from schools assigned to the
treatment group attended a two-hour training session on the Sunny Days, Healthy Ways
curriculum. These teachers then led students in the curriculum over the
course of six weeks.

Prior to
curriculum implementation, students were surveyed on sun-safety knowledge,
attitudes toward sun exposure/protection, and self-efficacy expectations.
Additionally, skin tone assessments were performed on a subsample of students
from each school. Using the same procedure as in pre-testing, students were
post-tested approximately one month after the completion of the intervention;
87 percent completed the post-test.

Results: Sunny
Days, Healthy Ways
had an impact on a variety of attitudes and behaviors. Following the
intervention period, students from treatment schools reported engaging in sun
protection behaviors significantly more frequently than did students from
control schools. Treatment students had greater knowledge of sun safety,
perceived fewer barriers to using sunscreen, and had less favorable attitudes
toward tanning, compared with control students. Treatment students were more
likely to use sunscreen, wear long-sleeved shirts during recess, and stay in
the shade. However, they did not score significantly better than control
students on all measures of sun safety. On reports of recent sun
exposure, treatment students did not differ from control students.

Note: Analyses
were designed to adjust for the effect of clustering within schools.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Link to
program curriculum: 
http://sdhw.info/curriculum/1_aboutcurriculum.asp

References:

Buller, D. B., Reynolds, K. D., Yaroch,
A., Cutter, G. R., Hines, J. M., Geno, C. R., Maloy, J. A., Brown, M., Woodall, W. G., & Grandpre, J.
(2006). Effects of the Sunny Days, Healthy Ways curriculum on students in
grades 6 to 8. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 30(1),
13-22.

KEYWORDS: Middle Childhood (6-11), Adolescence (12-17), School-Based, Middle School, Education, Physical Health, Sun Protection, Latino/Hispanic, White/Caucasian, Black/African American, Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Manual Is Available.

Program information last updated on
11/7/07.