Healthy Texts

HealthyTexts was a randomised trial that investigated if mobile phone short messages (SMS) can provide an appropriate medium to intervene and improve skin cancer prevention health behaviours in people aged 18 to 40 years.

The trial recruited around 700 participants, randomly selected from the electoral roll of Queensland. Participants were randomly allocated to a primary prevention (sunburn) group or a secondary prevention (skin self-examination) group, or an attention control group, which received SMS messages about physical activity. Participants in each group received 21 personalised, targeted SMS messages to help them increase the respective behaviour.

The primary aim of the trial was to assess the impact of SMS messages on improving sun protection and early detection behaviours in young to mid-aged adults. We also measured satisfaction with, use of, and recall of the SMS messages.

The publications below describes the study design and participants’ baseline characteristics, as well as the study findings.


Baker, Jannah, Finch, Linda, Soyer, H. Peter, Marshall, Alison L., Baade, Peter, Youl, Philippa, et al. (2016) Mediation of improvements in sun protective and skin self-examination behaviours: Results from the healthy text study. Psycho-Oncology, 25(1), pp. 28-35.

Finch, Linda, Youl, Philippa, Marshall, Alison L., Soyer, H. Peter, Baade, Peter, & Janda, Monika (2015) User preferences for text message-delivered skin cancer prevention and early detection. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 21(4), pp. 227-234.

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.

Janda, Monika, Youl, Philippa, Marshall, Alison L., Soyer, Peter H., & Baade, Peter (2013) The HealthyTexts study : A randomized controlled trial to improve skin cancer prevention behaviors among young people. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 35(1), pp. 159-167.

Research Grant

Title of project Investigators Funding body Period of funding
HealthyTexts: Skin cancer prevention and early detection for Generation Y. Chief Investigator: Prof Monika Janda

Associate Investigators: Alison Marshall, Cameron Hurst, QUT

Philippa Youl, Peter Baade, Cancer Council Queensland

Peter Soyer, University of Queensland

Cancer Australia 2011-2013