Evidence informing policy

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Evidence informing policy


Mass media campaigns

Mass media campaigns are effective in improving population health outcomes by driving behavioural change [1]. Television advertising and a mix of other platforms play a role through increasing awareness of the risks of UV exposure and promoting sun-safe behaviours [2][3]. Higher amounts of campaign advertising (measured in Target Audience Rating Points or TARPs) were shown to deliver greater behavioural improvements [2]. Evidence suggests that youth-focused campaigns, when delivered with sufficient TARPs, provide beneficial impact on sun protection behaviours for the whole population [3]. Increasing TARPs were related to increased preference for no tan and increased sunscreen use [3].

Evaluation of the 2006 National Skin Cancer Campaign showed that skin cancer awareness was high and reached a majority of adolescents and adults (64% and 58%, respectively) [4]. Fewer people reported to prefer and acquire sun tans [5], which prior to the campaign were perceived as desirable and influenced one’s perceived attractiveness.

Skin cancer prevention programs have been shown to be highly cost-effective and may be cost-saving for governments [6]. A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis in 2009 showed that the SunSmart program would return an estimated $2.30 for every $1 invested, reduce 20,000 melanoma cases, and prevent 1,900 premature deaths over the next 20 years [7]. An analysis of mass media campaigns in NSW found for every $1 invested a return of $3.85 is achieved [8].


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References

  1. Wakefield MA, Loken B, Hornik RC. Use of mass media campaigns to change health behaviour. Lancet 2010 Oct 9;376(9748):1261-71 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20933263.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dobbinson SJ, Wakefield MA, Jamsen KM, Herd NL, Spittal MJ, Lipscomb JE, et al. Weekend sun protection and sunburn in Australia trends (1987-2002) and association with SunSmart television advertising. Am J Prev Med 2008 Feb;34(2):94-101 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18201638.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dobbinson SJ, Volkov A, Wakefield MA. Continued Impact of SunSmart Advertising on Youth and Adults' Behaviors. Am J Prev Med 2015 Jul;49(1):20-8 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25794474.
  4. Dobbinson S, Jamsen KM, Francis K, Dunlop S, Wakefield MA. 2006–07 National Sun Protection Survey Report 1. Skin cancer prevention knowledge, attitudes and beliefs among Australians in summer 2006–07 and comparison with 2003–04 in the context of the first national mass media campaign. Prepared for the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, and The Cancer Council Australia in consultation with a national collaborative research group. Melbourne: Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, The Cancer Council Victoria (unpublished); 2007 [cited 2020 Sep 10].
  5. Dobbinson S, Jamsen KM, Francis K, Wakefield MA. 2006–07 National Sun Protection Survey Report 2. Australians’ sun protective behaviours and sunburn incidence on summer weekends, 2006–07 and comparison with 2003–04 in the context of the first national mass media campaign. Prepared for the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, and The Skin cancer prevention: A blue chip investment in health 21 Cancer Council Australia in consultation with a national collaborative research group. Melbourne: Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, The Cancer Council Victoria (unpublished); 2007 [cited 2020 Sep 10].
  6. Gordon LG, Rowell D. Health system costs of skin cancer and cost-effectiveness of skin cancer prevention and screening: a systematic review. Eur J Cancer Prev 2015 Mar;24(2):141-9 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25089375.
  7. Shih ST, Carter R, Sinclair C, Mihalopoulos C, Vos T. Economic evaluation of skin cancer prevention in Australia. Prev Med 2009 Nov;49(5):449-53 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19747936.
  8. Doran CM, Ling R, Byrnes J, Crane M, Shakeshaft AP, Searles A, et al. Benefit Cost Analysis of Three Skin Cancer Public Education Mass-Media Campaigns Implemented in New South Wales, Australia. PLoS One 2016;11(1):e0147665 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26824695.

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