Can skin cancer prevention and early detection be improved via mobile phone text messaging? a randomised, attention-control trial.

Youl, Philippa, Janda, Monika, Soyer, H. Peter, Finch, Linda, Baade, Peter, & Marshall, Alison L. (2015) Can skin cancer prevention and early detection be improved via mobile phone text messaging? a randomised, attention-control trial. Preventive Medicine, 71, pp. 50-56.

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Abstract

Objective.

To test the impact of a theory-based, SMS (text message)-delivered behavioural intervention (Healthy Text) targeting sun protection or skin self-examination behaviours compared to attention-control.

Method.

Overall, 546 participants aged 18–42 years were randomised using a computer-generated number list to the skin self-examination (N = 176), sun protection (N = 187), or attention-control (N = 183) text messages group. Each group received 21 text messages about their assigned topic over 12 months (12 weekly messages for three months, then monthly messages for the next nine months). Data was collected via telephone survey at baseline, three-, and 12-months across Queensland from January 2012 to August 2013.

Results.

One year after baseline, the sun protection (mean change 0.12; P = 0.030) and skin self-examination groups (mean change 0.12; P = 0.035) had significantly greater improvement in their sun protection habits (SPH) index compared to the attention-control group (reference mean change 0.02). The increase in the proportion of participants who reported any skin self-examination from baseline to 12 months was significantly greater in the skin self-examination intervention group (103/163; 63%; P < 0.001) than the sun protection (83/173; 48%), or attention-control (65/165; 36%) groups. There was no significant effect of the intervention for participants who self-reported whole-body skin self-examination, sun tanning behaviour, or sunburn behaviours.

Conclusion.

The Healthy Text intervention was effective in inducing significant improvements in sun protection and any type of skin self-examination behaviours.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 79322
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Available online 16 December 2014
Additional URLs:
Keywords: skin cancer, prevention, health promotion, text messaging
DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.12.009
ISSN: 0091-7435
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
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
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Preventive Medicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Preventive Medicine ...
Deposited On: 09 Dec 2014 23:37
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2016 16:04

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