4 Recommendations for research
The Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee (PHIAC) recommends that the following research questions should be addressed. It notes that 'effectiveness' in this context relates not only to the size of the effect, but also to cost effectiveness and duration of effect. It also takes into account any harmful/negative side effects.
1. What is the incidence and prevalence of, and what are the demographic trends in, skin cancer in the UK? (Demographic variables might include whether someone is an outdoor or indoor worker, their skin type and socioeconomic status.)
2. What types of information provision, including mass‑media campaigns, are effective and cost effective in preventing skin cancer in the UK? What factors influence effectiveness and cost effectiveness?
Does effectiveness and cost effectiveness vary for different population groups? (Groups could be defined by gender, age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status or other characteristics such as lifestyle and at‑risk behaviours.)
What impact do they have on knowledge, attitudes, awareness and behaviour, including any impact on physical activity levels and vitamin D‑related outcomes?
What are the key factors that aid or hinder the success of these interventions or campaigns, including for different population groups? In particular, how does changing attitudes to sunbathing and tanning – and perceptions of the risk of skin cancer –influence success? Do attitudes vary for different population groups?
3. Which new (previously not researched) primary prevention interventions (that do not include information provision as a component) are effective and cost effective in preventing skin cancer in the UK? What factors influence effectiveness and cost effectiveness? (For detail see question 2 above.)
4. What proxy outcome measures are suitable for studies of the primary prevention of skin cancer?
More detail on the gaps in the evidence identified during development of this guidance is provided in appendix D.