Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 4–5, pp e473–e479 | Cite as

An update to the recommended core content for sun safety messages for public education in Canada: A consensus report

  • Loraine D. Marrett
  • Maria B. H. ChuEmail author
  • John Atkinson
  • Robert Nuttall
  • Gillian Bromfield
  • Larry Hershfield
  • Cheryl F. Rosen
  • National Consensus Process on the Recommended Core Content for Sun Safety Messages in Canada


Reducing ultraviolet radiation exposure decreases the risk of skin cancer and eye damage. Between 1996 and 2006, Canadians increased their time in the sun without improving protection. National consensus on sun protection information for the public was last achieved in 1994. Public messages have since been modified inconsistently. The Ontario Sun Safety Working Group initiated a review of messages and engaged a scientific panel to draft message content. Working Group members then delivered a national consensus process, engaging a National Steering Committee, a health communications expert and representatives from 28 organizations through a workshop with pre- and post-workshop surveys. The result of the consensus process is the updated Recommended Core Content for Sun Safety Messages in Canada. Four groups of statements comprise the new content: Key Facts, Primary Recommended Protective Action Statements, Additional Recommended Protective Action Statements, and Tips for Implementing the Primary Protective Actions. Organizations are encouraged to adopt, at minimum, the Primary Recommended Protective Action Statements as the basis for public messaging. The recommended core content establishes a common understanding of what is needed for effective sun protection. The underlying expectation is that, as a key next step, content will be tailored for different subpopulations and health promotion campaigns.

Key words

Ultraviolet rays/adverse effects skin neoplasms/prevention and control eye diseases/prevention and control consensus health education Canada 


La réduction de l’exposition aux rayons ultraviolets diminue le risque de cancer de la peau et de lésions oculaires. Entre 1996 et 2006, les Canadiens ont accru le temps qu’ils passent au soleil sans améliorer leur protection. Le dernier consensus national concernant l’information sur la protection solaire à transmettre au public date de 1994. Depuis, les messages d’intérêt public sont modifiés de façon contradictoire. L’OSSWG (Ontario Sun Safety Working Group), un organisme ontarien, a amorcé un examen de ces messages et confié à un comité scientifique le mandat d’élaborer leur contenu. Les membres de l’OSSWG ont ensuite proposé un processus de consensus national et coopéré avec un comité directeur national, une spécialiste en communication de messages sur la santé et des représentants de 28 organismes dans le cadre d’un atelier et de sondages avant et après l’atelier. Le processus de consensus a mené à la révision du contenu de base recommandé pour les messages de sécurité au soleil au Canada. Le nouveau contenu comprend quatre groupes d’énoncés: des « faits clés », des « énoncés des mesures de protection primaires recommandées », des « énoncés des mesures de protection supplémentaires recommandées » et des « conseils pour appliquer les mesures de protection primaires ». On encourage les organismes à adopter, au minimum, les « énoncés des mesures de protection primaires recommandées » à la base de leurs messages d’intérêt public. Le contenu de base recommandé établit une compréhension commune de ce qui est nécessaire à une protection solaire efficace. L’attente sous-jacente est qu’à la prochaine étape clé, on adaptera ce contenu à différentes sous-populations et à des campagnes de promotion de la santé.


rayons ultraviolets/effets des rayonnements tumeurs de la peau/prévention et contrôle maladies de l’œil/prévention et contrôle consensus éducation sanitaire Canada 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loraine D. Marrett
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria B. H. Chu
    • 1
    Email author
  • John Atkinson
    • 3
  • Robert Nuttall
    • 4
  • Gillian Bromfield
    • 5
  • Larry Hershfield
    • 2
    • 6
  • Cheryl F. Rosen
    • 7
    • 8
  • National Consensus Process on the Recommended Core Content for Sun Safety Messages in Canada
  1. 1.Cancer Care OntarioTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Canadian Cancer SocietyOntario DivisionTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Canadian Cancer SocietyNational OfficeTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Cancer Care OntarioTorontoCanada
  6. 6.Larry Hershfield & Associates, Ltd.TorontoCanada
  7. 7.Division of Dermatology, Toronto Western HospitalUniversity Health Network Hospitals, and Mount Sinai HospitalTorontoCanada
  8. 8.Department of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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