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Preventing Skin Cancer: Education and Policy Approaches for Healthcare Settings and Providers

Education and policy interventions designed for healthcare settings or providers aim to improve the knowledge, attitudes, and sun-protective behaviors of their clients or patients. They also aim to improve the counseling behaviors of healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses, physician assistants, medical students, and pharmacists. Single component or multicomponent interventions are applied in a range of healthcare settings (e.g., pharmacy, drugstore, clinic, physician’s office, medical school) and may include activities such as provider education sessions, internet-based education, videos, and role-modeling.

Summary of Task Force Recommendations and Findings

The Community Preventive Services Task Force finds insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of educational and policy approaches in healthcare or for healthcare providers in reducing UV exposure or increasing sun-protective behaviors. Too few articles of sufficient design and execution quality evaluated the effectiveness of these interventions in changing recommendation outcomes.

Task Force Finding

Results from the Systematic Review

Eleven studies qualified for the review.

  • Only two assessed reducing UV exposure or increasing sun-protective behavior.
  • Results 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.

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Supporting Materials


CDC. Preventing skin cancer. Findings of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services on reducing exposure to ultraviolet light. MMWR 2003;52(RR-15):1–12. External Web Site Icon

Saraiya M, Glanz K, Briss PA, et al. Interventions to prevent skin cancer by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation: a systematic review. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 788 kB] 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. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 70 kB] Am J Prev Med 2004;27(5):467-70.

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Cancer. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 402 kB] 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.

Read other Community Guide publications about Cancer Prevention and Control in our library.


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: education and policy approaches for healthcare settings and providers. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.

Review completed: July 2002