School students’ knowledge and understanding of the Global Solar Ultraviolet Index

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dc.contributor.author Wright, C.Y. (Caradee)
dc.contributor.author Reeder, Anthony I.
dc.contributor.author Albers, P.N. (Patricia Nicole)
dc.date.accessioned 2016-02-16T09:04:33Z
dc.date.available 2016-02-16T09:04:33Z
dc.date.issued 2015-12
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND. The Global Solar Ultraviolet Index (UVI) is a health communication tool used to inform the public about the health risks of excess solar UV radiation and encourage appropriate sun-protection behaviour. Knowledge and understanding of the UVI has been evaluated among adult populations but not among school students. OBJECTIVES. To draw on previously unpublished data from two school-based studies, one in New Zealand (NZ) and the other in South Africa (SA), to investigate and compare students’ knowledge of the UVI and, where possible, report their understanding of UVI. METHODS. Cross-sectional samples of schoolchildren in two countries answered questions on whether they had seen or heard of the UVI and questions aimed at probing their understanding of this measure. RESULTS. Self-report questionnaires were completed by 1 177 students, comprising 472 NZ (264 year 8 (Y8), 214 year 4 (Y4) students) and 705 SA grade 7 primary-school students aged 8 - 13 years. More than half of the NZ Y8 students answered that they had previously heard about or seen the UVI, whereas significantly more SA students and NZ Y4 students replied that they had neither seen nor heard about the UVI. Among the NZ students who had seen or heard of the UVI, understanding of the tool was fairly good. CONCLUSION. The observed lack of awareness among many students in both countries provides an opportunity to introduce an innovative and age-appropriate UVI communication method that combines level of risk with behavioural responses to UVI categories and focus on personal relevance to the UVI message. en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2015 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship For the NZ project, Dr Wright received funding from the National Research Foundation of South Africa, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and an International PhD scholarship from the University of Otago. Dr Reeder and the Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit received funding from the Cancer Society of New Zealand Inc. and the University of Otago. Funding for the SA project was granted in part by the Cancer Association of South Africa, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Medical Research Council of South Africa. en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.samj.org.za en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Wright, CY, Reeder, AI & Albers, PN 2015, 'School students’ knowledge and understanding of the Global Solar Ultraviolet Index', South African Medical Journal, vol. 105, no. 12, pp. 1024-1029. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0256-9574 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 2078-5135 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.7196/SAMJ.2015.v105i12.10120
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/51406
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Health and Medical Publishing Group en_ZA
dc.rights © 2015 Health & Medical Publishing Group. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial Works License (CC BY-NC 3.0). en_ZA
dc.subject Health risks en_ZA
dc.subject Ultraviolet index (UVI) en_ZA
dc.subject Students en_ZA
dc.subject Awareness en_ZA
dc.subject Global solar ultraviolet index en_ZA
dc.title School students’ knowledge and understanding of the Global Solar Ultraviolet Index en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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