Objectives: To formulate ‘best practice’ guidelines for social marketing programmes for adolescents’ and
young adults’ sun protection.
Study design: A Delphi consensus process.
Methods: Eleven experts in sun protection and social marketing participated in a Delphi consensus
process, where they were asked to provide up to 10 key points, based on their knowledge and practical
experience, which they felt were most important in developing social marketing interventions for the
primary prevention of skin cancer among adolescents and young adults. After reaching consensus, the
evidence base for each guideline was determined and graded via the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline
Network grading system. Participants were then asked to indicate how strongly they rated the finalized
15 recommendations based on all aspects relating to their knowledge and practical opinion, as well as
the research evidence, on a visual analogue scale.
Results: The resultant 15 guidelines offer general principles for sun protection interventions utilizing
a social marketing approach.
Conclusions: This method of guideline development brought the expertise of practitioners to the
forefront of guideline development, whilst still utilizing established methods of evidence confirmation. It
thus offers a useful method for guideline development in a public health context.