Preventing Skin Cancer: Mass Media
Task Force Finding
The Community Preventive Services Task Force finds insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness of mass media interventions to prevent skin cancer by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Although available evidence generally indicates that mass media interventions are associated with improvements in protective and preventive behaviors, the small number of studies, several with methodological limitations, make it difficult to draw clear conclusions.
Read the full Task Force Finding and Rationale Statement for more detailed information on the finding, including implementation issues, potential benefits and harms, and evidence gaps.
Mass media interventions to prevent skin cancer by reducing individuals’ exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation use communication channels such as print media (e.g., newspapers, magazines), broadcast media (e.g., radio, television), billboards, or the Internet to disseminate information, behavioral guidance, or a combination of these to wide audiences. Messages may target specific audiences, though the interventions typically rely on broad distribution channels.
Some interventions provide up-to-date information about the intensity of the sun’s rays (UV index), with the goal of raising awareness of the dangers of UV exposure and prompting sun protection measures. Others use persuasive techniques intended to change knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, intentions, and behaviors related to sun-protection and skin cancer.
Although this review assessed the effectiveness of mass media interventions themselves, eligible interventions could also use small media (e.g., brochures, flyers, newsletters) or promotional products to increase awareness of campaign messages.
About the Systematic Review
The Task Force recommendation was made in June 2011. It is based on evidence from a previously completed review (January 1966-June 2000) and an updated review (January 2000–May 2011). Updates of reviews are conducted to incorporate more recent evidence.
These reviews were conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice and policy related to preventing skin cancer. Please subscribe to be notified as new materials on this topic become available.
The findings and results of this systematic review have not been published. Read other Community Guide publications about Cancer Prevention and Control in our library. You can also subscribe to be notified as new materials on this topic become available.
The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC.
The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Preventing skin cancer: mass media (abbreviated). www.thecommunityguide.org/cancer/skin/community-wide/massmedia.html. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.
Review completed: June 2011
- Page last reviewed: September 10, 2013
- Page last updated: September 10, 2013
- Content source: The Guide to Community Preventive Services