Improving sun-protection behavior among children: Results of a cluster-randomized trial in Italian elementary schools. The "SoleSi SoleNo-GISED" project

Luigi Naldi, Liliane Chatenoud, Paola Bertuccio, Cornelia Zinetti, Anna Di Landro, Lorenza Scotti, Carlo La Vecchia, Andreina Cellini, Mariella Goglio, Nino Caridi, Elisa Zaccaria, Matteo Morena, Anna Luisa Pinna, Laura Atzori, Pezzarossa Enrico Pezzarossa, Gianfranco Fenizi, Giuseppe Quarta, Maurizio Congedo, Anna Aurilia, Francesco Tripodi CutrìIgnazio Stanganelli, Serena Magi, Vito Ingordo, Vittoria Maria Cantoro, Annalisa Barba, Gianpaolo Tessari, Alfredo Rebora, Alberto Giannetti, Andrea Peserico, Alessandro Liberati, Francesco Cusano, Giovanni Saracco, Antonietta Molinu, Michele Pellegrino, Luigi Ligrone, Francesco Musumeci, Marco Simonacci, Giovanni Lo Scocco, Anna Rosa Virgili, Maria Rosaria Zampino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A history of sunburns in early life nearly doubles the risk of developing malignant melanoma in adulthood. From 2001 to 2004, we conducted a cluster-randomized trial of an educational intervention to reduce sunburn rates (primary outcome) and improve sun-protection behavior (secondary outcome) in schoolchildren. A total of 122 Italian primary schools (grades 2 and 3) were randomized to receive, or not, an intervention consisting of an educational curriculum at school, conducted by trained teachers, which included the projection of a short video and the distribution of booklets to children and their parents. Behavior while in the sun was assessed at baseline and 14-16 months after baseline. In a subgroup (44% of the total sample), melanocytic nevi were also counted. Of the 11,230 children enrolled, 8,611 completed the study. A total of 1,547 children (14%) reported a history of sunburns at baseline. At follow-up, no difference in sunburn episodes was documented between the study groups (odds ratio 0.97, 95% confidence interval 0.84-1.13) and similar sun-protection habits were reported. No significant impact of the proposed educational program was documented at 1-year follow-up. Innovative strategies need to be developed to increase the effectiveness of future educational interventions in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1871-1877
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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