Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Nursing, Research Center for Nursing and Midwifery Care in Family Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Science

2 Departments of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Research Center of Prevention and Epidemiology of Non‑communicable Disease, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences

3 Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran


BACKGROUND: Sailors are exposed to sunlight as their job requires and are, in the long run, more
prone to different types of skin cancer. This study aimed to explore sailors’ experience of perceived
threat and to show protective behaviors against sunlight in the south of Iran.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The present follows a qualitative approach and directed content
analysis in 2018–2019 among sailors who were selected purposively through an interview procedure.
Finally, 22 sailors and 3 patients with skin cancer with an experience of sailing were interviewed
until data satiation occurred. The data were collected through a semi‑structured interview based on
two constructs, perceived susceptibility and perceived severity of protection motivation theory, and
were instantly transcribed and read more than once by the present researcher. Simultaneously, the
data were entered into MAXQDA 10 for the primary categorization.
RESULTS: Data analysis results were classified into 5 categories and 12 subcategories: protective
attempts (change of work time and use of protectives), passivity in self‑protection (not showing
protective behaviors and not examining skin), inadequate perception of affliction risk (beliefs hindering
preventive behaviors and low sensitivity), perceived threat to personal and familial conditions (loss
of peace and loss of occupational‑familial positions), and threat to health (incurable disease and
perceived skin disease).
CONCLUSIONS: Awareness of these factors helps planners to choose the best preventive strategies
with a focus on correcting beliefs and promoting protective behaviors as well as examining and
screening sailors regularly to diagnose skin cancer. Moreover, to develop practical measures of
protective strategies against sunlight among sailors, the required steps should be taken. This can
help to reduce the rate of work‑related risks while exposed to sunlight in this population.


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