Date of Award


Document Type


Copyright Status, No Creative Commons License

All Rights Reserved

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Nursing




The incidence of skin cancer especially melanoma among children, adolescents, and young adults has reached epidemic proportions, with young females at highest risk for this deadly cancer. Increasing sun protection for children and making them aware of the dangers of the ultraviolet rays of the sun may reduce their risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, teaching sun protective behaviors in schools should start early in childhood. Developing comprehensive sun safety programs for children that are motivating and individualized will help them to get involved in the programs and also help to retain the information that they have learned during these programs. Sun protection of children in North America is generally lower than what is desirable. Many programs in place in schools help to improve sun safety knowledge, but students continue to tan.

Therefore, optimal method for teaching students and motivating them to learn about sun protective behaviors and skin cancer should be developed. Studies have shown that using skin analyzer machine (SAM) is an effective methodology when teaching about skin cancer, as it shows the changes of the skin that cannot be visualized by the naked eye and it personalizes sun damage to the students. The premise behind this study using SAM is that the students who seek the tanned look or those students who are not careful about protecting their skin, can be shown through the mirrors in the SAM, the sun damage to their skin that is not visible by the naked eye such as brown spots.

This quasi-experimental study examined the teaching methodologies that can be used in 6th and 7th grade health assessment classes, with 283 students. This study examined the middle schools students’ knowledge of skin cancer, sun protective behaviors and perceptions of acquiring skin cancer. Pretest and posttest design were used in this study. Results from the study demonstrated that the intervention using the skin analyzer machine made a difference in changing the behavior of the students in the intervention group. The intervention of using SAM had a positive effect on the overall posttest of students along with showing a significant difference from the students in the control and lecture group in the variable of behavior.

Related Pillar(s)


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Nursing Commons