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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Public Health Integrating Experience Project
Title Skin Cancer Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Among Residents of Yerevan, Armenia
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
URL http://www.auachsr.com/PDF/MPH/2009/Avagyan, Gayane.pdf
Abstract
Background: Skin cancer is a worldwide public health problem that differentially affects
residents of geographic regions where ultraviolet radiation (UV) has greater penetration. The
incidence of cutaneous malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer has increased
sharply worldwide with increased UV exposure to solar and artificial sources. However, skin
cancer is considered an almost entirely preventable disease. Prevention can be achieved through
applying knowledge in attitudes and practices that result in protective behaviors, such as seeking
shade, wearing a hat, avoiding sun during pick hours, wearing clothing, and applying sunscreens.
Objective: This study evaluated the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) related to skin
cancer among residents of Yerevan, Armenia and assessed relationships with demographic
characteristics.
Methods: A cross-sectional design using a telephone survey where adults 18 and over was used
to address three research questions: 1.Is knowledge of the of sun exposure associated with
demographic characteristics (e.g. age, gender, educational level)? 2. Are use of protective
practices for sun exposure associated with skin type, gender and age? And 3. Is sunbed use
associated with, gender and age? Random digit dialing was used to recruit the sample of 96
Yerevan residents. This sample size was calculated as sufficient to provide power to detect
differences at the 0.05 level. The survey instrument was adapted from instruments used in other
published work that addressed similar research questions.
Results: Mean age of the participants was 34±15 years and 53% had high level of education
(university or postgraduate). Most of respondents were women (75%). In bivariate simple linear
regression analysis, gender and education were associated with knowledge (p<0.05). Logistic
regression showed statistically significant association between protective practices and gender.
Sunbed use was not associated with age and gender.
Conclusions: This is the first study conducted in Armenia that assesses knowledge, attitudes,
and practices for skin cancer prevention. This sample lacked sufficient knowledge of the problem
of skin cancer and did not practice protective behaviors. More sophisticated research is needed to
identify barriers to adopting protective behaviors and to identifying those at particularly high
risk. Our findings suggest all groups, and especially men, should be targeted in future research
and health promotion programs devoted to skin cancer.

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