Educational Activities for Rural and Urban Students to Prevent Skin Cancer in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


Curso de Farmacia, Universidade Federal do Pampa, Uruguaiana, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


Background: Excessive exposure to the sun during childhood is strongly associated with the development of skin cancer in the future. The only way to prevent the development of skin cancer is to protect against ultraviolet radiation, which can be achieved through strategic awareness during childhood and adolescence. Objective. The aim of this work was to evaluate the impact of educational activities for rural and urban students to promote the use of sunscreens and prevent skin cancer. Materials and Methods: This study was carried out with students (9-12 years) of rural (n=70) and urban (n=70) schools in Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. The educational interventions were lectures and games. The impact of this strategy was evaluated through the application of a questionnaire before and after the interventions. Results: Before the intervention, it was found around 50% of rural and urban students were not aware of the damage caused by sun exposure, often exposing themselves to UV radiation without use sunscreen ( ~ 25 %) and at the most critical times of the day/year. After the lectures we observed an improvement in the behavior of the students with regard to sun exposure and knowledge about skin cancer. Conclusions: The results of this study emphasize the importance of prevention strategies for skin cancer and promoting the use of sunscreens based educational strategies. The interventions were of great value in relation to disseminating knowledge on the subject.