Coverage of skin cancer prevention in professional journals and the popular press




Miner, Kimberly Jean

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The purpose of this study was to review skin cancer prevention and suntan articles in professional health education journals and in the popular press as a means to compare coverage of skin cancer prevention, ozone layer depletion, and suntanning norms. Articles were also reviewed for coverage of individual sun protection measures and coverage of collective skin cancer risk reduction through policy and legislative reform. A total of 155 articles indexed in the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature (1986 through 1991) under skin cancer causes, skin cancer prevention, suntan, and suntan products were reviewed for this study. An additional nine articles published in professional health education journals from 1986 through 1991 were also reviewed. Analysis of the 164 coding forms indicated that (a) individual sun protection measures were covered with greater frequency than public policy measures, (b) risk reduction through public policy reform was covered with greater frequency in professional health education journals, and (c) individuals from different professions were not cited within the articles with equal frequency. This content analysis provides evidence of coverage of contemporary tanning norms in the popular press, as well as the presence of misleading information and contradictory messages regarding personal protection from ultraviolet radiation.



Health and environmental sciences, Communication and the arts, Education