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The effectiveness of an education package for secondary schools about the sun and skin cancer was assessed using questionnaires. A variety of teaching methods was used, including pamphlets, workbooks, and a video. The effect of this material was assessed by asking pupils to complete questionnaires immediately after receiving the package (July), and after the summer holiday (September). Five-hundred and forty-three children from seven schools were recruited into the study. Results of the questionnaire demonstrated a significant difference in knowledge (P < 0.001) and reported attitude (P < 0.001) compared with a control group. There was no significant difference in behaviour of the taught groups compared with the control group. The only significant activity associated with increased knowledge was wearing a sunscreen (P < 0.005). In contrast, in terms of attitude, those who covered up in the sun (P < 0.0001), wore a sunscreen (P < 0.004), and sat in the shade (P < 0.02), had significantly better attitudes than those who did not behave in this way. This project is a first attempt to assess health education in schools, and reports changes in knowledge, attitudes, and some aspects of behaviour. Adolescents are a group who are difficult to influence, but our study has produced some useful information about how these children respond to such teaching measures.


Journal article


Br j dermatol

Publication Date





412 - 417


Adolescent, Attitude to Health, Female, Health Education, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Male, Medical Illustration, Melanoma, Skin Neoplasms, Sunburn, Sunscreening Agents, Surveys and Questionnaires