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UICC World Cancer Congress 2006

Bridging the Gap: Transforming Knowledge into Action

July 8-12, 2006, Washington, DC, USA



Monday, 10 July 2006 - 4:30 PM
139-5

Improving sun protection campaigns translating theory into practice

Anita Tang1, Kerryn Johnson2, and Sandra C Jones2. (1) Health Strategies Division, The Cancer Council NSW, 153 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo 2011, Australia, (2) Centre for Health Behaviour and Communication Research, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong 2522, Australia

Objective: Social marketing holds substantial promise for changing health behaviours of target populations, yet very few organisations appear to explicitly apply social marketing theory and behaviour change principles in the development of campaigns. A collaborative project between the University of Wollongong and The Cancer Council New South Wales aims to help fill the gap between behavioural evidence and social marketing theory, and the practice of health promotion for skin cancer prevention.

Methods: A systematic review of twenty-one published studies targeted at children and their sun protection behaviours (utilizing pre and post designs with comparison groups), indicates that there has been little explicit application of social marketing theory and principles in past programs. No studies reported any segmentation of the target audience, nor discussed any tailoring of messages for specific subgroups within the larger target group. Also, while research studies on specific message factors for sun protection are evident on literature review, little of this research appears to have been utilised within actual programs to date.

Results: Areas relating to behavioural and communication theory appear under-developed in many sun protection programs, with little use of segmentation on attitudinal or behavioural grounds, and minimal attention to message factors within the programs reviewed.

This gap between theory and practice is an important one to address, and in the next stage of our project, we will identify how these elements can be best incorporated into the planning and development of campaigns.


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