Sunbed use at home: risk behaviour and psychosocial determinants

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2002 Aug;11(4):333-41. doi: 10.1097/00008469-200208000-00004.


The objective of this study was to analyse the behaviour of people with regard to sunbed use at home, and to analyse the psychosocial determinants of intention and behaviour with regard to limiting the health risk of using sunbeds at home. Data were collected by means of a telephone survey among 349 adults from the Dutch general public who use sunbeds at home (response=95%). Determinants that were assessed were: attitude with respect to safer use and the use of sunbeds in general, the social influences people encounter to use sunbeds in a safer way, and the self-efficacy expectations people have of their ability to use sunbeds more safely. The results showed that there were great differences between people's perceptions of their safe sunbed behaviour, and their actual safety behaviour. Almost all respondents (94%) thought that their sunbed behaviour was safe, while in reality only 37% of the respondents used the sunbed in accordance with the safety guidelines. The safer users of sunbeds differed on many determinants from the unsafe users. Intention to minimize the health risk when using sunbeds could be predicted by a person's perceived self-efficacy, the overall attitude and anticipated regret beliefs (R2=0.52). Sunbed users should be made aware of their risk behaviour with regard to sunbeds as well as providing information on changing determinants, in order to positively change people's intentions and behaviour with regard to the safer use of sunbeds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude
  • Beauty Culture*
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Safety
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology*