Date of this Version
Background: Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with 1 in 5 Americans developing it at one point in their lifetime. Skin cancer is predominately caused by accumulation of sun exposure throughout one’s life. The main issue arises as sun’s damage is not immediately visible. Since damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays occurs beneath the surface of the skin, invisible to the naked eye, it leads a person’s unawareness of the cumulative damage the sun has caused. UV rays can damage unprotected skin in as little as 15 minutes, and can, occur not only when directly outside, but also through windows, such as inside a car or any window the sun shines through. More than half a person’s lifetime UV exposure occurs during adolescence. The exposure to intense UV rays in adolescents is highly associated with an increase in developing skin cancer. Just 5 sunburns between the ages of 15-20 increases one’s non-melanoma risk by 68% and melanoma risk by 80%.
Objective: The main objective of the QI project was to assess the impact of an educational video focused on the negative effects of the sun, types of skin cancer, benefits of sunscreen and recommended sunscreen usage on adolescence and young adults.
Methods: Data was collected from a sample of 20 patients, ages 13-30 from a dermatology office. The methods included a pre-test survey, an educational video intervention, and post-test survey design. The pre-test and post-test survey responses were analyzed and compared.
Findings: The pre-test to post-test knowledge significantly increased after the educational intervention. At the end of the study, 100% of participants reported that they would wear sunscreen daily, 55% of participants reported they would perform monthly self-skin exams, and 95% of participants reported they would get annual full body exams by a dermatologist.
Bennis, Chelsey, "Improving sunscreen compliance and awareness of skin cancer and the effects of the sun in adolescents and young adults: A quality improvement project." (2021). Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing Student Projects. 27.