The validated sun exposure questionnaire: association of objective and subjective measures of sun exposure in a Danish population-based sample
Background: Few questionnaires used in monitoring sun-related behaviour have been tested for validity.
Objectives: We established the criteria validity of a questionnaire developed for monitoring population sun-related behaviour.
Methods: During May-August 2013, 664 Danes wore a personal electronic ultraviolet radiation (UVR) dosimeter for 1 week that measured their outdoor time and dose of erythemal UVR exposure. In the following week, they answered a questionnaire on their sun-related behaviour in the measurement week.
Results: Outdoor time measured by dosimetry correlated strongly with both outdoor time and the developed exposure scale measured in the questionnaire. Exposure measured in standard erythema dose (SED) by dosimetry correlated strongly with the exposure scale. In a linear regression model of UVR (SED) received, 41% of the variation was explained by skin type, age, week of participation and exposure scale, with exposure scale as the main contributor. The weekly sunburn fraction correlated strongly with the number of ambient sun hours (r = 0·73, P < 0·001).
Conclusions: This criteria-validated questionnaire provides evidence of the exposure that the questionnaire aimed to measure. The evidence provided showed a strong link between the objectively measured behaviour and the behaviour measured by this survey construct. The questionnaire is the first validated tool to measure the UVR exposure in a national population-based sample.