What Turkish Nurses Know and Do about Skin Cancer and Sun Protective Behavior


Background: Skin cancer is a global health problem that can be prevented by protective behavior promotedby nurses. In Turkey, only few studies have examined current knowledge of nurses related to skin cancer andto reveal their attitudes towards sun exposure and current protective behavior. Materials and
Methods: Thisdescriptive cross-sectional study was performed from March 11 to May 30, 2013 with a study sample of 310nurses working in two state hospitals located in Karabük and Safranbolu.
Results: Mean age of the nurses was30.3±6.89 years and 96.1% of them had graduated with a Bachelor degree. The participants were predominantlyfemale (n=284). Knowledge level about skin cancer was significantly higher for females compared to males.
Conclusions: Nurses do not have sufficient knowledge about skin cancer and are not adequately protectingthemselves from ultraviolet light, the primary risk factor for skin cancer. While they demonstrated a responsibleattitude towards avoiding sunburn and the need for adequate sun protection, they do not fully appreciate theextent to which the sun can cause skin cancer and that they lack full understanding about the need to protectthe skin from burning and to avoid long term sun exposure in Turkey.