Assessment of Sun Protective Behaviours among Farmers

Project aim

To identify farmers’ sun protective behaviours and their perception of the importance of sun protection.

Background

Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world, with the incidence of these cancers expected to increase as a result of climate change. Australian farmers are at a particularly high risk of skin cancer due to the long periods of time spent outdoors and exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Further, Australian farmers are less likely to visit general practitioners for healthcare issues, which could lead to adverse consequences. Despite this, little research has been undertaken on Australian farmers’ sun-protective behaviours.Aim:

Methods: A cross-sectional study is being conducted in the elevated northern tablelands of NSW. Farmers attending regional agricultural shows and events are invited to complete a questionnaire that asks demographic details, sun protective behaviours, skin type, previous diagnosis of skin cancers, and perceptions of the importance of sun protective behaviours.
Results: Preliminary results will be discussed, including the proportion of farmers who report wearing sun protective clothing and using sunscreen, and we will discuss the relationship between farmers’ skin type, perceptions of importance, previous skin cancers, and sun protective behaviours.
Conclusion: Identification of sun protective behaviours among farmers will serve as a baseline reference for intervention/prevention strategies to reduce the future incidence of skin cancers and promote the health and wellbeing in the Australian farming population.
(This is an abstract that will be submitted to a conference)

Project Personnel