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Celebrate 10 Years with Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T.

Preventing Skin Cancer: Multicomponent Community-Wide Interventions

Task Force Finding

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends multicomponent community-wide interventions to prevent skin cancer by increasing UV-protective behaviors, based on sufficient evidence of effectiveness in increasing sunscreen use. Some evidence also indicates benefits in reducing sunburns. Results for effects on other protective behaviors are mixed.

Read the full Task Force Finding and Rationale Statement for details including implementation issues, possible added benefits, potential harms, and evidence gaps.

Intervention Definition

Multicomponent community-wide interventions to prevent skin cancer use combinations of individual-directed strategies, mass media campaigns, and environmental and policy changes across multiple settings within a defined geographic area (city, state, province, or country), in an integrated effort to influence UV-protective behaviors. They are usually delivered with a defined theme, name, logo, and set of messages. Programs vary substantially in duration and the breadth of included components.

Studies were eligible for this review if they included at least two distinct components that were either implemented in different types of settings (e.g., schools, recreation areas) or directed at an entire community (e.g., mass media campaigns).

About the Systematic Review

The Task Force recommendation was made in April 2012. It is based on evidence from a Community Guide systematic review published in 2003 (search period January 1966–June 2000) combined with more recent evidence (search period January 2000-May 2011). The Task Force now recommends this intervention based on sufficient evidence of effectiveness; they previously found insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness of this intervention.

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.

Read a summary of findings from the previous review or visit the Cancer Prevention and Control section of our publications page to access the complete articles. You can also subscribe External Web Site Icon to be notified as new materials on this topic become available.

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Supporting Materials

Publication Status

Full peer-reviewed articles of this systematic review will be posted on the Community Guide website when published. Subscribe External Web Site Icon 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. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

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: multicomponent community-wide interventions (abbreviated). Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.

Review completed: April 2012