Season of interview and self-report of summer sun protection behaviors

Marc A. Adams, Joni A. Mayer, Deborah J. Bowen, Ming Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Self-report of past behavior may be affected by recall biases that result in over- or under-reporting. This study explored whether the season an interview was conducted affected individuals' self-reported frequency of past summer sun protection behaviors, including the use of sunscreen, hats, long sleeves, and shade. We examined two existing datasets-National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) with sample sizes of 31,428 and 21,122, respectively. Weighted logistic regression models adjusting for survey design estimated the influence of interview season on the odds of consistent summer sun protection behaviors, while controlling for age, sex, sun sensitivity, and geographic region. For NHIS, significant seasonal differences were found for all protection behaviors that were measured. For the BRFSS items, significant seasonal differences were found only for staying in the shade. Based on these findings, when interviewing adults about summer sun safety behavior, we recommend conducting the interviews during the summer season or shortly thereafter to reduce potential recall biases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bias
  • Measurement
  • Skin cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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