Promoting Sun Safety Among US Postal Service Letter Carriers: Impact of a 2-Year Intervention

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Abstract

Objectives.

We examined whether US Postal Service letter carriers who received a sun safety intervention would wear wide-brim hats and sunscreen significantly more often than those who did not receive the intervention.

Methods.

We used a 2-group randomized design with 2662 evaluation cohort participants from 70 US postal stations. Evaluations were conducted at baseline, 3 months, 1 year, and 2 years. Questionnaire items assessed occupational use of sunscreen and wide-brim hats. The 2-year sun safety intervention included the provision of wide-brim hats, accessible sunscreen, reminders, and 6 educational sessions.

Results.

At the 3-month follow-up evaluations, the odds ratio (OR) for regular sunscreen use was 2.8 times higher among the intervention group than among the control group (95% confidence interval [CI]=2.2, 3.5); at the 2-year follow-up evaluations, the rate was still significantly higher (OR=2.0; 95% CI=1.6, 2.6). Intervention group participants also had significantly higher rates of hat use, with the differences remaining consistent across all follow-ups (OR=2.9; 95% CI=2.3, 3.6).

Conclusions.

The intervention should be disseminated to postal stations nationwide and possibly to other occupational groups that work outdoors.

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