We studied the acceptability and feasibility of delivering sun protection messages via electronic media such as short message services (SMS) to people aged 18-40 years. An online survey was conducted using a pre-established panel of volunteers. We compared the characteristics of those who indicated that they would like to be alerted to the UV index, with those who would not, using bivariate logistic regression. Characteristics found to be associated with a desire to receive such advice were entered into a multivariate logistic regression analysis. The median age of the 141 participants was 34 years. Overall, 80% of participants agreed that they would like to receive some form of sun protection advice. Of these, 20% preferred 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 the short-term effects of sun exposure such as sunburn and skin ageing should increase the acceptability of such messages to young people. Sun protection messages delivered to young adults via electronic media appear to be feasible and acceptable.
Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare / Vol. 18, No. 5, pp.247-252