Adolescents' use of purpose built shade in secondary schools : cluster randomised controlled trial
Dobbinson, Suzanne J., White, Vanessa, Wakefield, Melanie A., Jamsen, Kris M ., White, Victoria, Livingston, Patricia M ., English, Dallas R. and Simpson, Julie A. 2009, Adolescents' use of purpose built shade in secondary schools : cluster randomised controlled trial, British medical journal, vol. 338, no. b95, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1136/bmj.b95.
Objective To examine whether students use or avoid newly shaded areas created by shade sails installed at schools.
Design Cluster randomised controlled trial with secondary schools as the unit of randomisation.
Setting 51 secondary schools with limited available shade, in Australia, assessed over two spring and summer terms.
Participants Students outside at lunch times.
Intervention Purpose built shade sails were installed in winter 2005 at full sun study sites to increase available shade for students in the school grounds.
Main outcome measure Mean number of students using the primary study sites during weekly observations at lunch time.
Results Over the study period the mean change in students using the primary study site from pre-test to post-test was 2.63 (95% confidence interval 0.87 to 4.39) students in intervention schools and –0.03 (–1.16 to 1.09) students in control schools. The difference in mean change between groups was 2.67 (0.65 to 4.68) students (P=0.011). Conclusions Students used rather than avoided newly shaded areas provided by purpose built shade sails at secondary schools in this trial, suggesting a practical means of reducing adolescents’ exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Trial registration Exempt.
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