Preventing Skin Cancer: Education and Policy Approaches in Outdoor Occupation Settings
Educational and policy approaches to improve sun-protective behaviors among adults in work settings seek to improve “covering up” behavior, specifically, wearing protective clothing such as a shirt, long pants, and hat, or to increase shade use or staying out of the sun during peak UV hours. These single component and multicomponent interventions are designed to change behavior by increasing sun-protective knowledge, attitudes, intentions.
Summary of Task Force Recommendations & Findings
The Community Preventive Services Task Force finds insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of educational and policy approaches in outdoor occupational settings in increasing the sun-protective behavior of covering up or seeking shade, or in decreasing the incidence of sunburn and UV exposure, because the limited number of available reports showed inconsistent findings.
About the Interventions
- Interventions included one or more of the following:
- Surveys and questionnaires to assess knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, intentions, and behaviors
- Sun-safety training of safety officers, managers, or outdoor recreation and swimming pool staff
- Peer leader modeling of sun-safe behaviors
- Education using didactic instruction or brochures
- Sun-safety lessons
- Interactive activities
- Provision or promotion of sun-protective gear or products (e.g., wide brimmed hats, sunscreen)
- Screening assessments by dermatologists
- Sunscreen use was considered a secondary outcome. This means that a change in sunscreen use alone would not result in a Task Force recommendation.
Results from the Systematic Reviews
Eight studies qualified for the review.
- Only two studies measured key behavioral or health outcomes.
- Effects on attitudes or beliefs were inconsistent (5 studies).
These results are based on a systematic review of all available studies led by scientists from CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control with input from a team of specialists in systematic review methods and experts in research, practice and policy related to preventing skin cancer.
Saraiya M, Glanz K, Briss PA, et al. Interventions to prevent skin cancer by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation: a systematic review. [PDF - 788KB] Am J Prev Med 2004;27(5):422-66.
Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Recommendations to prevent skin cancer by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation. [PDF - 70KB] Am J Prev Med 2004;27(5):467-70.
Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Cancer. [PDF - 402KB] In : Zaza S, Briss PA, Harris KW, eds. The Guide to Community Preventive Services: What Works to Promote Health? Atlanta (GA): Oxford University Press;2005:143-87.
More Community Guide publications about Cancer Prevention and Control
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: education and policy approaches in outdoor occupation settings. www.thecommunityguide.org/cancer/skin/education-policy/outdooroccupations.html. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.
Review completed: July 2002
- Page last reviewed: January 27, 2011
- Page last updated: August 24, 2010
- Content source: The Guide to Community Preventive Services