Skin Cancer Prevention, Tanning and Vitamin D: A Content Analysis of Print Media in Germany and Switzerland.

Dermatology (Basel, Switzerland)

PubMedID: 26278913

Reinau D, Meier CR, Blumenthal R, Surber C. Skin Cancer Prevention, Tanning and Vitamin D: A Content Analysis of Print Media in Germany and Switzerland. Dermatology (Basel). 2016;.
BACKGROUND
Print media are a major source of health information.

OBJECTIVES
To analyse press coverage related to skin cancer prevention.

METHODS
We conducted a content analysis of print media articles pertaining to skin cancer prevention, solaria and vitamin D published in Germany and Switzerland over a 1-year period between 2012 and 2013.

RESULTS
Overall, 2,103 articles were analysed. Applying sunscreen was by far the most common sun protection recommendation. A considerable number of articles on solaria and vitamin D advocated exposure to ultraviolet radiation to enhance physical appearance and vitamin D photosynthesis, often without mentioning any precaution measures. In total, 26.8% of the articles contained misleading or erroneous statements mostly related to sunscreen use and vitamin D issues.

CONCLUSIONS
Print media can serve as powerful education tools to foster skin cancer prevention. However, misleading or erroneous reports may negatively impact sun-safe behaviour.