Background: Consistent exposure to the ultra-violate ray of the sun is a key factor involved in skin cancer afflicting external workers including sailors. Sailors’ low level of awareness and lack of protective behaviors caused by inadequate knowledge is a key concern. The present research aimed to explore sailors’ perceptions and experiences of the cost of response in showing protective behaviors of skin cancer in the south of Iran.
Materials and methods: The present research used semi-structured interviews which were conducted between January and April 2019. A total number of 22 subjects (19 sailors, 3 skin cancer patients with sailing experience) participated in this research. All interviews were audio-recorded and later on transcribed carefully. Guided qualitative content analysis was conducted and then analyzed in the light of the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT).
Results: Based on the cost of response construct of PMT, 3 primary categories were extracted each having its own sub-categories: 1. Cognitive limitations with 2 sub-categories of low awareness and knowledge and false conceptions, 2. Psycho-sociological limitations with 3 sub-categories of lacking motivation and encouragement, belief in fate and peer humiliation, 3. Financial sources with 3 sub-categories of living problems, accommodation and high cost of goods.
Conclusion: Sailors’ low knowledge and awareness along with their belief in insusceptibility to skin cancer were among barriers to adopting protective behaviors against skin cancer. Appropriate communication of healthcare staff with sailors as well as the development and constant implementation of educational programs are recommended.