Aim: The objective of this study was to determine skin cancer knowledge and sun protection behavior among nursing students.
Methods: A total of 1178 nursing students in the Aegean Region of Turkey took part in this descriptive study. A score for knowledge on protection against skin cancer and a score for protective behavior against skin cancer were calculated.
Results: In this study, first year students sunbathed more in the middle of the day than fourth year students, and their knowledge of skin cancer was lower. No statistical difference was determined for protective behavior between the two groups. The knowledge levels and protective behavior of first year students were alarmingly low, but the average scores for knowledge and behavior of the fourth year university students were higher. The knowledge levels of the fourth year students were average but their protective behavior was insufficient. It was found that the knowledge levels and the levels of protective behavior of light-skinned students were higher.
Conclusion: This study revealed that the knowledge levels and protective behavior of first year nursing students against the harmful effects of the sun and for protection against skin cancer were alarmingly low. It also showed that the knowledge levels of the fourth year nursing students were average, but that their protective behavior was very insufficient. These findings suggest that it is of extreme importance to acquire knowledge and behavior for protection against skin cancers in the education of nursing students.
Keywords: nursing student; skin cancer; sun protection.
© 2014 The Authors. Japan Journal of Nursing Science © 2014 Japan Academy of Nursing Science.