Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students (SPOTS)-Evaluating the Efficacy of Skin Cancer Prevention Education for Adolescents

Sofia B. Chaudhry, Eric S. Armbrecht, Mitchell Gibbons, M. Laurin Council, Alex Knutson, Stephanie Lickerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students (SPOTS) program addresses an unmet need by training medical students to teach adolescents about skin cancer prevention and early detection. OBJECTIVE: To measure (1) changes in adolescents' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding sun protection and (2) the impact on medical students' confidence in skin cancer preventive counseling. METHODS: Pre-SPOTS and 1-month post-SPOTS program surveys were completed by adolescent participants and medical student instructors. RESULTS: Amongst adolescent students, analysis of 1,142 pre-program surveys and 618 post-program surveys revealed statistically significant improvements in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Among the favorable results, 26%, 41%, and 20% improvements over baseline were observed in SPF knowledge, preference for natural untanned skin, and intent to wear sunscreen, respectively (p < .001). One-third of adolescents reported having tried to increase sunscreen use. Amongst medical students, analysis of 78 pre-teaching and 74 post-teaching surveys revealed an increase in feeling "very confident" in counseling patients, from 23% pre-teaching to 82% post-teaching (p < .001). CONCLUSION: SPOTS demonstrated a dual benefit to adolescents and medical students. The program is available for dermatologists to implement in their communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-930
Number of pages5
JournalDermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


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