Association of Skin Cancer Risk and Protective Behaviors with Health Literacy Among Young Adults in the USA

Carolyn J. Heckman, Melissa V. Auerbach, Susan Darlow, Elizabeth A. Handorf, Stephanie Raivitch, Sharon L. Manne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The goal of this study was to investigate the association of health literacy with skin cancer risk and protective behaviors among young adults at moderate to high risk of skin cancer, the most common cancer. Method: A US national sample of 958 adults, 18–25 years old, at moderate to high risk of developing skin cancer, completed a survey online. Behavioral outcomes were ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure (e.g., indoor and outdoor tanning, sunburn) and protective (e.g., sunscreen use, sunless tanning) behaviors. Multivariable regression analyses were conducted to determine whether health literacy (a four-item self-report measure assessing health-related reading, understanding, and writing) was associated with behavioral outcomes while controlling for demographic factors. Results: Higher health literacy was independently associated with less sunbathing, odds ratio (OR) = 0.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.60–0.98; less indoor tanning, OR = 0.38, CI = 0.31–0.48; and less use of tanning oils, OR = 0.54, CI = 0.43–0.69. However, health literacy was also associated with a lower likelihood of wearing long pants, OR = 0.76, CI = 0.58–0.99, or a hat, OR = 0.68, CI = 0.53–0.87, when outdoors. On the other hand, higher health literacy was associated with higher incidental UV exposure, OR = 1.69, CI = 1.34–2.14, and a greater likelihood of ever having engaged in sunless tanning, OR = 1.50, CI = 1.17–1.92. Conclusion: Interestingly, higher health literacy was associated with lower levels of intentional tanning yet also higher incidental UV exposure and lower skin protection among US young adults. These findings suggest that interventions may be needed for young adults at varying levels of health literacy as well as populations (e.g., outdoor workers, outdoor athletes/exercisers) who may be receiving large amounts of unprotected incidental UV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-379
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2019

Fingerprint

Health Literacy
Tanning
Skin Neoplasms
Risk-Taking
Young Adult
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Sunbathing
Sunburn
Sunscreening Agents
Athletes
Self Report
Health Status
Reading
Oils
Regression Analysis
Demography
Skin
Health

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology

Keywords

  • Health literacy
  • Prevention
  • Risk behaviors
  • Skin cancer
  • Young adults

Cite this

Heckman, Carolyn J. ; Auerbach, Melissa V. ; Darlow, Susan ; Handorf, Elizabeth A. ; Raivitch, Stephanie ; Manne, Sharon L. / Association of Skin Cancer Risk and Protective Behaviors with Health Literacy Among Young Adults in the USA. In: International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2019 ; Vol. 26, No. 4. pp. 372-379.
@article{e2e09782f7da437b891d4e7306520989,
title = "Association of Skin Cancer Risk and Protective Behaviors with Health Literacy Among Young Adults in the USA",
abstract = "Background: The goal of this study was to investigate the association of health literacy with skin cancer risk and protective behaviors among young adults at moderate to high risk of skin cancer, the most common cancer. Method: A US national sample of 958 adults, 18–25 years old, at moderate to high risk of developing skin cancer, completed a survey online. Behavioral outcomes were ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure (e.g., indoor and outdoor tanning, sunburn) and protective (e.g., sunscreen use, sunless tanning) behaviors. Multivariable regression analyses were conducted to determine whether health literacy (a four-item self-report measure assessing health-related reading, understanding, and writing) was associated with behavioral outcomes while controlling for demographic factors. Results: Higher health literacy was independently associated with less sunbathing, odds ratio (OR) = 0.77, 95{\%} confidence interval (CI) = 0.60–0.98; less indoor tanning, OR = 0.38, CI = 0.31–0.48; and less use of tanning oils, OR = 0.54, CI = 0.43–0.69. However, health literacy was also associated with a lower likelihood of wearing long pants, OR = 0.76, CI = 0.58–0.99, or a hat, OR = 0.68, CI = 0.53–0.87, when outdoors. On the other hand, higher health literacy was associated with higher incidental UV exposure, OR = 1.69, CI = 1.34–2.14, and a greater likelihood of ever having engaged in sunless tanning, OR = 1.50, CI = 1.17–1.92. Conclusion: Interestingly, higher health literacy was associated with lower levels of intentional tanning yet also higher incidental UV exposure and lower skin protection among US young adults. These findings suggest that interventions may be needed for young adults at varying levels of health literacy as well as populations (e.g., outdoor workers, outdoor athletes/exercisers) who may be receiving large amounts of unprotected incidental UV.",
keywords = "Health literacy, Prevention, Risk behaviors, Skin cancer, Young adults",
author = "Heckman, {Carolyn J.} and Auerbach, {Melissa V.} and Susan Darlow and Handorf, {Elizabeth A.} and Stephanie Raivitch and Manne, {Sharon L.}",
year = "2019",
month = "8",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1007/s12529-019-09788-1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "26",
pages = "372--379",
journal = "International Journal of Behavioral Medicine",
issn = "1070-5503",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "4",

}

Association of Skin Cancer Risk and Protective Behaviors with Health Literacy Among Young Adults in the USA. / Heckman, Carolyn J.; Auerbach, Melissa V.; Darlow, Susan; Handorf, Elizabeth A.; Raivitch, Stephanie; Manne, Sharon L.

In: International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Vol. 26, No. 4, 15.08.2019, p. 372-379.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Association of Skin Cancer Risk and Protective Behaviors with Health Literacy Among Young Adults in the USA

AU - Heckman, Carolyn J.

AU - Auerbach, Melissa V.

AU - Darlow, Susan

AU - Handorf, Elizabeth A.

AU - Raivitch, Stephanie

AU - Manne, Sharon L.

PY - 2019/8/15

Y1 - 2019/8/15

N2 - Background: The goal of this study was to investigate the association of health literacy with skin cancer risk and protective behaviors among young adults at moderate to high risk of skin cancer, the most common cancer. Method: A US national sample of 958 adults, 18–25 years old, at moderate to high risk of developing skin cancer, completed a survey online. Behavioral outcomes were ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure (e.g., indoor and outdoor tanning, sunburn) and protective (e.g., sunscreen use, sunless tanning) behaviors. Multivariable regression analyses were conducted to determine whether health literacy (a four-item self-report measure assessing health-related reading, understanding, and writing) was associated with behavioral outcomes while controlling for demographic factors. Results: Higher health literacy was independently associated with less sunbathing, odds ratio (OR) = 0.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.60–0.98; less indoor tanning, OR = 0.38, CI = 0.31–0.48; and less use of tanning oils, OR = 0.54, CI = 0.43–0.69. However, health literacy was also associated with a lower likelihood of wearing long pants, OR = 0.76, CI = 0.58–0.99, or a hat, OR = 0.68, CI = 0.53–0.87, when outdoors. On the other hand, higher health literacy was associated with higher incidental UV exposure, OR = 1.69, CI = 1.34–2.14, and a greater likelihood of ever having engaged in sunless tanning, OR = 1.50, CI = 1.17–1.92. Conclusion: Interestingly, higher health literacy was associated with lower levels of intentional tanning yet also higher incidental UV exposure and lower skin protection among US young adults. These findings suggest that interventions may be needed for young adults at varying levels of health literacy as well as populations (e.g., outdoor workers, outdoor athletes/exercisers) who may be receiving large amounts of unprotected incidental UV.

AB - Background: The goal of this study was to investigate the association of health literacy with skin cancer risk and protective behaviors among young adults at moderate to high risk of skin cancer, the most common cancer. Method: A US national sample of 958 adults, 18–25 years old, at moderate to high risk of developing skin cancer, completed a survey online. Behavioral outcomes were ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure (e.g., indoor and outdoor tanning, sunburn) and protective (e.g., sunscreen use, sunless tanning) behaviors. Multivariable regression analyses were conducted to determine whether health literacy (a four-item self-report measure assessing health-related reading, understanding, and writing) was associated with behavioral outcomes while controlling for demographic factors. Results: Higher health literacy was independently associated with less sunbathing, odds ratio (OR) = 0.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.60–0.98; less indoor tanning, OR = 0.38, CI = 0.31–0.48; and less use of tanning oils, OR = 0.54, CI = 0.43–0.69. However, health literacy was also associated with a lower likelihood of wearing long pants, OR = 0.76, CI = 0.58–0.99, or a hat, OR = 0.68, CI = 0.53–0.87, when outdoors. On the other hand, higher health literacy was associated with higher incidental UV exposure, OR = 1.69, CI = 1.34–2.14, and a greater likelihood of ever having engaged in sunless tanning, OR = 1.50, CI = 1.17–1.92. Conclusion: Interestingly, higher health literacy was associated with lower levels of intentional tanning yet also higher incidental UV exposure and lower skin protection among US young adults. These findings suggest that interventions may be needed for young adults at varying levels of health literacy as well as populations (e.g., outdoor workers, outdoor athletes/exercisers) who may be receiving large amounts of unprotected incidental UV.

KW - Health literacy

KW - Prevention

KW - Risk behaviors

KW - Skin cancer

KW - Young adults

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85066465060&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85066465060&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s12529-019-09788-1

DO - 10.1007/s12529-019-09788-1

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85066465060

VL - 26

SP - 372

EP - 379

JO - International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

JF - International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

SN - 1070-5503

IS - 4

ER -