Validating outdoor workers' self-report of sun protection

Prev Med. 2004 Oct;39(4):798-803. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.03.011.


Background: Few studies assessing sun safety behaviors have used validated survey instruments. Using an observational strategy, this study measured the validity of self-report of occupational sun protection behaviors.

Methods: Postal workers (N = 1,036) self-reported their frequency of protective clothing and sunglasses use during the past 5 workdays on Likert scales ranging from "Never" to "Always". Responses were dichotomized by Always vs. all other responses. Data collectors observed these same behaviors during mail delivery several days before survey administration. Agreement between the two measures was computed.

Results: Self-report for all items was significantly related to observed behaviors, with Kappa values in the good to excellent range (Kappas = 0.51-0.83).

Conclusions: For outdoor postal workers, survey items assessing recent occupational use of sun-protective items had high levels of validity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Radiation Protection / methods
  • Radiation Protection / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sunburn / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace