Preventing Skin Cancer: High School- and College-based Interventions
Task Force Finding
The Community Preventive Services Task Force finds insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of high school- and college-based interventions to prevent skin cancer by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Evidence was considered insufficient based on inconsistent results for sun protective behavioral outcomes. Interpretation of included studies also was complicated by (1) variability in interventions and evaluated outcomes; (2) short follow-up times; and (3) limitations in the design and execution of important subsets of studies.
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.
High school- and college-based interventions to promote sun-protective behaviors among adolescents and young adults include at least one of the following:
- Educational approaches (e.g., providing informational messages about ultraviolet [UV] protection to adolescents and young adults through instruction, small media, Internet, or social media). UV protection messages may be health-related, appearance-based, or both.
- Activities designed to influence behaviors of adolescents and young adults (e.g., modeling, demonstration, role playing)
- Activities intended to change knowledge, attitudes, or behaviors of teachers and parents or caregivers
- Environmental and policy approaches (e.g., providing sunscreen or shade, scheduling outdoor activities to avoid hours of peak sunlight)
About the Systematic Review
This Task Force recommendation was made in May 2013. It is based on evidence from a Community Guide systematic review published in 2004 (4 studies, search period January 1966 – June 2000) combined with more recent evidence (17 studies with 27 arms, search period June 2000 – May 2011). It updates and replaces a previous Task Force finding on Education and Policy Approaches in Secondary Schools and Colleges.
This review was 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. Subscribe to be notified as new materials on this topic become available.
Full peer-reviewed articles of this systematic review will be posted on the Community Guide website when published. Subscribe to be notified when we post these publications or other materials. See our library for previous Community Guide publications on this and other topics.
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: high school- and college-based interventions (abbreviated). www.thecommunityguide.org/cancer/skin/education-policy/secondaryschools.html. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.
Review completed: May 2013
- Page last reviewed: December 9, 2013
- Page last updated: December 9, 2013
- Content source: The Guide to Community Preventive Services