Public education and cancer control.
OBJECTIVES: To provide an overview of public education efforts in tobacco, obesity, environmental health, and cancer screening. DATA SOURCES: Cochrane, AHRQ, the CDC's Guide to Community Preventive Services, and other reviews. CONCLUSION: Major changes in rates of smoking and cancer screening attest to the effectiveness of public education efforts. Diet and physical activity have more resistant behaviors. Communication technologies offer possibilities for connecting people with the education they need. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Nurses can play important roles in public education by helping to overcome people's misperceptions and biases related to cancer. There also may be an important role for nurses as information brokers.
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