Personalised electronic messages to improve sun protection in young adults

Mair, Sarah, Soyer, H. Peter, Youl, Philippa, Hurst, Cameron P., Marshall, Alison L., & Janda, Monika (2012) Personalised electronic messages to improve sun protection in young adults. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 18(5), pp. 247-252.

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The incidence of all skin cancers, including melanoma, continues to rise. It is well known that ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main environmental risk factor for skin cancer, and excessive exposure at a young age increases the risk of developing skin cancer. The aim of this study was to determine the acceptability and feasibility of delivering sun protection messages via electronic media such as short message services (SMS) to people 18-40 years, and explore factors associated with their acceptability. Overall, 80% of participants agreed that they would like to receive some form of sun protection advice; of these, 20% prefer to receive it via SMS and 42% via email.

Willingness to receive electronic messages about the UV index was associated with being unsure about whether a suntanned person would look healthy and greater use of sun protection in the past. Careful attention to message framing and timing of message delivery and focus on short-term effects of sun exposure such as sunburn and skin ageing should increase the acceptability of such messages to young people. We conclude that sun protection messages delivered to young adults via electronic media appear feasible and acceptable.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
5 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 54693
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Skin Cancer, Sun protection, Mobile phones, Text messages, young adults
DOI: 10.1258/jtt.2011.111101
ISSN: 1758-1109
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Royal Society of Medicine Press Limited
Deposited On: 12 Nov 2012 00:31
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2013 00:58

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