Conflict of Interest Authors declare no conflict of interest concerning this article.
Medical students and sun prevention: knowledge and behaviours in France
Article first published online: 24 JUL 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology © 2012 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Volume 27, Issue 2, pages e247–e251, February 2013
How to Cite
Isvy, A., Beauchet, A., Saiag, P. and Mahé, E. (2013), Medical students and sun prevention: knowledge and behaviours in France. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 27: e247–e251. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2012.04621.x
Funding Sources This work was supported by a grant from the University Versailles–Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (BQR2009).
- Issue published online: 22 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 24 JUL 2012
- Received: 9 January 2012; Accepted: 25 May 2012
Background High sun exposure is a major risk factor of skin cancer, and physicians are first-line players in a sun-risk prevention campaign.
Objectives To survey medical students at the end of their general medical education about their knowledge and behaviours concerning natural and artificial sun risk and its prevention.
Methods A 32-question survey was e-mailed to fifth or sixth year medical school students or first-year resident, attending residency-exam preparatory courses in Paris.
Results Among 1,374 students, 570 (41.7%) completed the questionnaires. General aspects of sun-protection measures were known to >75% but responses to specific questions, mainly the impact of environmental conditions on sun risk, were frequently erroneous. Although most students declared using sunscreen and avoiding peak hours, 39% never or exceptionally (<1/year) performed skin self-examination. Fewer than one-third wore long sleeves or cap/hat in the sun, and tanning beds were used by 13.5%, but their regulations remained unknown by 30–68%.
Conclusion The sixth year of medical school signals the end of non-specialized training. Students’ results and practices were almost comparable to those of the French general population. Medical schools might not be providing adequate sun-protection education programmes, perhaps diminishing the ability of future doctors to educate patients.