Navigation Links
New Study Finds Text-Messaging Reminders Effective in Improving Adherence to Sunscreen Use
Date:3/5/2009

SAN FRANCISCO, March 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite dermatologists' continual efforts, a disconnect persists between the public's understanding of the harmful effects of excessive sun exposure and regular use of sunscreen as part of an overall sun-protection strategy to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. But now, the same technology that keeps people connected 24/7 may help encourage them to apply sunscreen regularly via daily text messaging reminders.

Speaking today at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), dermatologist Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, FAAD, associate professor of dermatology at Harvard University Medical School in Boston, presented findings of his study that showed text messaging reminders were effective in improving sunscreen usage.

"For most people, cell phones, e-mail and text messaging are an integral part of how they communicate with one another and an ideal channel for health care professionals to reach patients with important reminders on taking their daily medications or even applying sunscreen," said Dr. Kvedar. "Our study was designed to determine if, in fact, daily text-messaging reminders encouraging people to apply sunscreen resulted in increased sunscreen usage."

Since few innovations exist that accurately measure adherence to products such as sunscreen and no reminder system is currently available to improve sunscreen adherence in the general population, the Center for Connected Health - a division of Partners Healthcare in Boston - developed a reminder service in which study subjects were sent cell phone text messages reminding them to apply their sunscreen.

This novel technology was evaluated in a randomized controlled trial in the fall of 2008 to test the effect of these reminders on the frequency of sunscreen application. Seventy patients ranging in age from 18 to 72 participated in the study and were asked to apply sunscreen daily for six weeks. Half of the patients were randomly selected to receive text messages via cellular phones and the other half did not receive reminders. Text message reminders were sent to participants each morning around 7 a.m., which stated the weather report and a reminder to apply sunscreen.

Dr. Kvedar evaluated patients' adherence to daily sunscreen usage with a novel electronic monitoring device, which was strapped onto the tube of sunscreen. When the cap of the sunscreen tube was removed, the device sent a text message to researchers that was then recorded as evidence of sunscreen use.

At the end of the study period, Dr. Kvedar concluded that the subjects receiving text messages had a significantly improved rate of sunscreen application as compared to the control subjects. Specifically, the 35 subjects who received daily text message reminders to apply sunscreen had a mean daily adherence rate of 56 percent compared to a mean daily adherence rate of only 30 percent by the 35 subjects who did not receive reminders.

"The results of this study were dramatic, and we are encouraged by the positive feedback we received from subjects who received the reminders and applied sunscreen as a result," said Dr. Kvedar. "The implications of this study extend well beyond sunscreen use to any situation where a reminder to adhere to a care plan would be useful to patients - such as taking once-a-day medications or dressing changes for post-surgery patients."

Among the patients in the reminder group, 68.6 percent reported that they would keep using the text message reminders after the study and 88.6 percent reported that they would recommend the text messaging reminder system to others.

The Academy recommends using the following guidelines when wearing sunscreen as part of a sun-protection regimen:

  • Generously apply water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to all exposed skin. Look for the AAD SEAL OF RECOGNITION(R) on products that meet these criteria.
  • Re-apply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.

In addition to wearing sunscreen, the Academy recommends these other ways for everyone to Be Sun SmartSM:

  • Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible.
  • Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
  • Protect children from sun exposure by playing in the shade, wearing protective clothing and applying sunscreen.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements. Don't seek the sun.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you've been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
  • Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, growing or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 15,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org.


'/>"/>
SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. McMaster study sheds light on how stem cells develop into blood cells
2. United Spinal Association Report Reveals the Importance of Studying Multiple Sclerosis in Children: Developing New Insights into MS in Adults
3. Penile extender increased flaccid length by almost a third says independent clinical study
4. UPDATE: NewCardio Leadership to Present Clinical Data of Fully Automated QTinno(TM) Study at American College of Cardiology Annual Meeting
5. Study finds injectable birth control causes significant weight gain and changes in body mass
6. Kidney Disease Increases the Risk of Stroke in Patients With the Most Common Type of Heart Arrhythmia, According to Kaiser Permanente Study
7. Is one diet as good as another? U of I study says no and tells you why
8. NewCardio Leadership to Present Clinical Data of Fully Automated QTinno(TM) Study at American College of Cardiology Annual Meeting
9. Levels of Trace Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water Too Low to Impact Human Health According to Water Research Foundation Study
10. His and hers: Study examines the role of gender in the stigma of mental illness
11. Preventing a second stroke is focus of study at Rush University Medical Center
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Adelberg-Montalvan Pediatric Dentistry ... for its patients on Long Island, New York. , Holistic dentistry puts ... is one of the biggest trends in dentistry today. , Dentist Dr. ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Dymedix® Diagnostics, Inc., ... today it had completed the first phase of building a global distribution network. ... of world (ROW) authorized dealers specializing in polysomnography accessories. The company plans ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Cambridge, MA, May 23, 2017—Total ... according to a Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study, a contrast from the ... System: CompScope™ Benchmarks, 17th Edition looks at indemnity and medical payments for ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... The Gallery of Cosmetic ... is pleased to announce a new treatment option called Vivace Microneedling. This treatment ... neck, and body through a virtually pain-free, non-surgical treatment. Vivace Microneedling combines a ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... SC (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... New ... Dr. Kevin Hogan, an experienced dentist practicing in Mt. Pleasant, SC, with or without ... is often recommended for patients with missing teeth in Charleston, SC. Those ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/12/2017)... , May 12, 2017  The China and ... washing technology that consumes less water, energy and detergent, and features ... first product LaughingU, a shoebox-sized washing machine that washes and sanitizes ... ... Product, LaughingU, is compact, and does not require an external water ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... 10, 2017 Radiology has become the number ... have also spiraled to the number one ranking as ... than ever before as the most complete and reliable ... with lower back pain an MRI may confirm a ... pain, resulting in entirely different treatment protocols.  In these ...
(Date:5/9/2017)...  Semler Scientific, Inc. (OTCQB: SMLR), an emerging ... the clinical effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare providers, ... ended March 31, 2017. "We ... identify when preventive care options are appropriate, which ... attacks or strokes occur," said Doug Murphy-Chutorian ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: