Readiness to Change Sun-Protective Behaviour

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2001 Jun;10(3):289-96. doi: 10.1097/00008469-200106000-00014.


The incidence of malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers has increased rapidly in Sweden during the last 20 years. The best-known way to revert this trend is primary prevention. Matching health messages to readiness to change in the population may enhance the effect of community-based prevention. The aims of this study were to investigate readiness to change sun-protective behaviour in two groups (visitors to mobile screening units and beach-goers) and to test a single-item algorithm in assessing the stage of change in sun-protective behaviour. Seven hundred and forty-two visitors to the mobile screening units and 202 individuals on nearby beaches answered a short questionnaire. The assessment of readiness to change was based on stages of change in sun-protective behaviour modified from the Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change. As expected, the visitors to the screening units were more often in action/maintenance stages than the beach group for most sun-protective behaviours. In conclusion, the single-item algorithm method appears to be sensitive to assess readiness to change sun-protective behaviour, based on the Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change. This method can be incorporated into population surveys and may aid in developing successful skin cancer prevention programmes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bathing Beaches / statistics & numerical data
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / epidemiology
  • Melanoma / prevention & control*
  • Melanoma / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Prevention
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Skin Neoplasms / psychology
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Sunscreening Agents