Preventing Skin Cancer: Education and Policy Approaches in Secondary Schools and Colleges
Educational and policy approaches in secondary schools and colleges are designed to decrease sunburns and increase sun-protective knowledge, attitudes, and intentions, and affect behaviors among adolescents and young adults. Interventions may include classroom teaching combined with:
- Interactive and home-based activities
- Internet-based activities
- Small media (e.g., brochures, fact sheets)
- Provision of sunscreen samples
- Extra class credit
- Cash incentives
Summary of Task Force Recommendations & Findings
The Community Preventive Services Task Force finds insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of interventions in secondary schools or colleges to reduce adverse health effects or to change behavior related to UV exposure.
Evidence was considered insufficient because of (1) limitations in the design and execution of available studies, (2) small numbers of admissible studies, (3) variability in interventions and evaluated outcomes, and (4) short follow-up times.
Results from the Systematic Reviews
Thirteen studies qualified for the review.
- Studies were inconsistent in the interventions examined and outcomes measured.
- Results for change in knowledge (9 studies), beliefs (7 studies), and intentions (7 studies) were inconsistent.
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 secondary schools and colleges. www.thecommunityguide.org/cancer/skin/education-policy/secondaryschools.html. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.
Review completed: February 2002
- Page last reviewed: January 27, 2011
- Page last updated: March 10, 2010
- Content source: The Guide to Community Preventive Services