An intervention to improve sun-safe and healthy behaviours in construction workers


An intervention to improve sun-safe and healthy behaviours in construction workers

Wed, 16/05/2018 - 14:30 to 15:30


Amanda Nioi

Amanda Nioi1, Charlotte Wendelboe-Nelson1, Sue Cowan1, Hilary Cowie2, Shahzad Rashid2, Peter Ritchie2, Mark Cherrie3, Terry C. Lansdown1, John W Cherrie1,2

1. Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
2. Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh
3. University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Excessive exposure to solar ultra-violet (UV) radiation can cause skin cancer, however, low exposure to sunlight limits the production of Vitamin D. There is limited research in understanding the barriers to adopting sun-safe behaviours in the workplace and encouraging behaviours that ensure Vitamin D sufficiency. This paper reports findings for a text messaging (SMS) and supportive smartphone app intervention, that aimed to reduced UV exposure in the summer and promote appropriate dietary changes and/or supplement intake to boost Vitamin D status in the winter. Sixty-six adult construction workers were be recruited from central Scotland and southern England from nine construction sites. A randomised control crossover trial design was used, with randomisation to the intervention at site level. The intervention messages were delivered daily to participant’s smartphone along with a supportive app. The main outcome measure was 25-hydroxy vitamin D in blood, taken at the start and end of each study period. There were three waves of data collection across 2017 (winter, summer and winter) with each study epoch lasting 21 days. Preliminary results suggest, (i) in winter Vitamin D levels increased significantly in the intervention group than in the control group and, (ii) in the summer few participants had insufficient levels of Vitamin D at the start of the intervention and on average, there was a small decrease in Vitamin D levels at follow up, which was more notable in the control group. This study provides important information about the effectiveness of a technology-based intervention to promote sun-safe and healthy behaviours. Further data will be available at the time of the conference.