Dissemination of go sun smart in outdoor recreation: Effect of program exposure on sun protection of guests at high-altitude ski areas.

Walkosz, B.J., Buller, D.B., Andersen, P.A., Scott, M.D., Dignan, M.B., Cutter, G.R. Liu, X., & Maloy, J.A. (2014). Dissemination of go sun smart in outdoor recreation: Effect of program exposure on sun protection of guests at high-altitude ski areas. Journal of Health Communication, 19, 999-1016.

Go Sun Smart is a theory-based health communication program designed to influence sun-protection behaviors of employees and guests at high-altitude ski areas to reduce skin cancer risk. The effects of Go Sun Smart, in a Phase IV dissemination randomized posttest-only trial, on sun-protection behaviors of ski area guests are reported. Program use was assessed by on-site observation and guest message exposure, and sun protection was measured in intercept surveys at ski areas. Dissemination strategy—enhanced versus basic—was not significantly related to sun safety practices. Additional analyses examined the relation between message exposure and guests’ sun safety practices. Ski areas displaying at least 6 Go Sun Smart materials in guest-only areas and 9 Go Sun Smart materials throughout the area increased guests’ message exposure. Higher message exposure within the high-use ski areas was associated with improved sun protection by guests but not within the low-use ski areas. The authors underscore the importance of program implementation and message exposure on the success of evidence-based health communication efforts applied industrywide. 

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