The Effects of the Safe-sun Program on Patrons' and Lifeguards' Skin Cancer Risk-reduction Behaviors at Swimming Pools

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavioral Medicine | Health Psychology | Integrative Medicine | Neoplasms | Psychiatry and Psychology | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


The 'Safe Sun' program had the goal of increasing patrons' and lifeguards' skin-protective behaviors and involved informational, prompting, feedback and goal-setting and incentive components coupled with pool lifeguards modeling protective behaviors such as wearing shirts, hats and sunglasses or staying in shaded areas. During two phases of a project involving 27 pools, it was found that while the program increased patrons' and lifeguards' protective behaviors, the largest changes were found at one pool where lifeguards were required to participate in the program. Patrons' protective behaviors at this pool increased from 30.7 percent to 52 percent, and lifeguards' protective behaviors increased from 40.8 percent to 95.7 percent. Social marketing, environmental change and institutionalization processes are needed to make skin-cancer prevention programs more effective.

Rights and Permissions

behavioral intervention, diffusion, risk-reduction behaviors, skin cancer, skin- cancer prevention

DOI of Published Version



J Health Psychol. 1997 Jan;2(1):85-95. doi: 10.1177/135910539700200109. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of health psychology


At the time of publication, Christine Runyan (C. R. Russ) was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID