Sunscreen Adherence: Texting Reminders
While skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, only 25% of adults use sunscreen regularly.
The aim of this trial was to assess the effect of text message reminders delivered via cell phone on adherence to sunscreen application. This randomized trial used an electronic monitor to accurately measure sunscreen use and delivered daily SMS reminders. At the end of six weeks, adherence rates for the reminder group (56%) were almost double that of the control group (30%) who did not receive reminder texts.
That text messaging is an innovative, low-cost and effective way to improve the daily use of sunscreen and this technology may have important implications for larger-scale public health initiatives.
Results of this study were published in:
Armstrong AW, Watson AJ, Makredes M, Frangos JE, Kimball AB, Kvedar JC. Text-message reminders to improve sunscreen use: a randomized, controlled trial using electronic monitoring. Arch Dermatol. 2009 Nov;145(11):1230-6. doi: 10.1001/archdermatol.2009.269. PubMed PMID: 19917951. Abstract