Promoting Safe Sunlight Exposure among School Students in Saudi Arabia: A National Comparative Study
Keywords:Bone health, Saudi Arabia, Students;, Sunlight-exposure, Vitamin D
Background: Skin exposure to solar ultraviolet Î² radiation is the major source of vitamin D in our bodies. This is
of particular interest to students with accelerated childhood and adolescence growth phases. This study aimed to
examine the effects of Saudi Ministry of Health (MoH) educational campaign on promoting Saudi students'
knowledge, attitudes and practices related to safe sunlight exposure (SSE).
Methods: A national comparative observation study was conducted on two stratified random samples of
governmental school students in the five geographical regions of Saudi Arabia. Students were randomly selected
from two groups; first group attended the educational campaign while the second was a control group who donâ€™t
attend the campaign. Data were collected four weeks after MoH campaign (between April and May 2018) using a
specially designed self-administered questionnaire. Data were collected, tabulated, and statistically analyzed
using SPSS, version 22.
Results: 3032 questionnaires were completed, returned, and included in the data analysis (1611 in the
intervention group and 1421 in the control group). A statistically significant better knowledge, attitude about SSE
and intention to increase sun exposure in the future were recorded among students who attended the educational
program compared to the control group (p value < 0.01). However, no significant difference in practice was
detected between the two groups.
Educational campaigns among school-aged children could be effective in improving students' knowledge and
attitudes about safe sunlight exposure
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