Sun Protection Counseling for Children
Primary Care Practice Patterns and Effect of an Intervention on Clinicians
Allen J. Dietrich, MD;
Ardis L. Olson, MD;
Carol Hill Sox, Engr;
Charlotte Woodruff Winchell;
Jennifer Grant-Petersson, MS;
Daniel W. Collison, MD
Arch Fam Med. 2000;9:155-159.
Objectives To describe current primary care sun protection advice for children and assess the effect on clinicians of an intervention to enhance their sun protection advocacy.
Setting Primary care practices caring for children in New Hampshire with special attention to clinicians serving 10 towns that were involved in a randomized controlled trial of the multicomponent SunSafe intervention involving schools, recreation areas, and primary care practices.
Design/Intervention A statewide survey of all primary care clinicians serving children addressed their self-reported sun protection advocacy practices. Clinicians in 10 systematically selected rural towns were involved in the subsequent intervention study. The primary care intervention provided assistance to practices in establishing an office system that promoted sun protection advice to children and their parents during office visits.
Main Outcome Measures Sun protection promotion activities of primary care clinicians as determined by their self report, research assistant observation, and parent interviews.
Results Of 261 eligible clinicians responding to the statewide survey, about half provide sun protection counseling "most of the time" or "almost always" during summer well care visits. Pediatricians do so more often than family physicians. Clinicians involved in the intervention increased their use of handouts, waiting room educational materials, and sunscreen samples. Compared with control town parents, parents in intervention towns reported an increase in clinician sun protection advice.
Conclusions The SunSafe primary care intervention increased sun protection counseling activities of participating clinicians. A single-focus preventive service office system is feasible to include in community interventions to promote sun protection.
From the Departments of Community and Family Medicine (Dr Dietrich, Prof Sox, and Mss Winchell and Grant-Petersson), Pediatrics (Dr Olson), and the Section of Dermatology (Dr Collison), Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.
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