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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2005 December;140(6):651-7


language: English

Women and sun exposure: behaviour and observations of an Italian survey by association of Italian Women Dermatologists

Fabbrocini G., Barberio E., Porzio R., Capasso C., Di Simone L., Rescigno O., Monfrecola G.

Unit of Dermatology, Allergology and Venereology Department of Systematic Pathology University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy


Aim. Women’s general attitudes, opinions and behaviours regarding sun-exposure are not well known and understood. Previous studies have shown that women pay more attention to prevention campaigns and they are well informed about risks. To better define if women use different protection systems when they sunbathe or if a nice tanned look is for them more important than an adequate behaviour, the Association of Italian Dermatologists Women (Donne Dermatologhe Italiane, DDI) has promoted a survey conducted among 650 women.
Methods. Women referred to 32 Italian dermatology departments were included in our study. Women were interviewed by female dermatologists using a questionnaire. Data were analysed through bivariate analysis and multiple correspondence analysis by SPAD.3 program, the most well known method of multidimensional treatment of qualitative data.
Results. Women love sunbathe. Their knowledge about sun risks is good but they preferred to be well tanned; 92.5% of our interviewed sunbathe and 78.6% of them sunbathe only in the summer. As regards the use of sunbeds, 67% of our sample do not usually use lamps, but when it occurs sunbeds are preferred by 33% of women.
Conclusion. The data of our study suggest that most of the women interviewed like sunbathing. Prevention campaigns have obtained some results, but it is necessary to do more to increase public awareness of possible adverse health effects produced by UV radiation and sunbeds. Multiple correspondence analysis shows that women who love sunbathe and sunbeds belong to a higher social class. This correlation is more evident for women of Southern Italy compared to the North and Centre of Italy.

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