The relationship between sun protection policies and practices in schools with primary age students: The role of school demographics, policy comprehensiveness and SunSmart membership.

Joanne Dono, Kerry Ettridge, Greg Sharplin, Carlene Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Schools can implement evidence-based sun protection policies that guide practices to help protect children from harmful sun exposure. This national study assessed the relationship between the existence and comprehensiveness of written policies and the comprehensiveness of sun protection practices. The impact of school demographics on the strength of the relationship was also examined, as was the possibility that 'SunSmart' membership would have an additional impact on practices, beyond having any formal policy. In 2011-12, staff members of 1573 schools catering to primary-age students completed a self-administered survey about sun protection policies and practices (response rate of 57%). Results showed that schools with a written policy had more comprehensive practices than schools without a written policy. The relationship between having a written policy and sun protection practices was stronger for remote schools compared with metropolitan and regional schools, and for schools catering to both primary and secondary students compared with primary students only. In addition, policy comprehensiveness was associated with practice comprehensiveness, and SunSmart membership was indirectly related to practice comprehensiveness via policy comprehensiveness. These results indicate that written policies relate to practice comprehensiveness, but the strength of the association can vary according to the characteristics of the organization.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalHealth Education Research
    Volume29
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

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