Interventions to prevent skin cancer by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation: a systematic review

Am J Prev Med. 2004 Dec;27(5):422-66. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2004.08.009.


The relationship between skin cancer and ultraviolet radiation is well established. Behaviors such as seeking shade, avoiding sun exposure during peak hours of radiation, wearing protective clothing, or some combination of these behaviors can provide protection. Sunscreen use alone is not considered an adequate protection against ultraviolet radiation. This report presents the results of systematic reviews of effectiveness, applicability, other harms or benefits, economic evaluations, and barriers to use of selected interventions to prevent skin cancer by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation. The Task Force on Community Preventive Services found that education and policy approaches to increasing sun-protective behaviors were effective when implemented in primary schools and in recreational or tourism settings, but found insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness when implemented in other settings, such as child care centers, secondary schools and colleges, and occupational settings. They also found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of interventions oriented to healthcare settings and providers, media campaigns alone, interventions oriented to parents or caregivers of children, and community-wide multicomponent interventions. The report also provides suggestions for areas for future research.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Protective Clothing
  • Risk Assessment
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Sunscreening Agents / administration & dosage
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Sunscreening Agents