Skin cancer what’s the history?
Over the past 30 years, Australia has led the world with the Slip Slop Slap and SunSmart Campaigns. These programs have greatly raised public awareness, however despite this effort, it is predicted that by the year 2020 there will be more than 13 000 new cases of melanoma in Australia. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) or sunlight exposure is the main environmental risk factor for skin cancer development.
Many young Australians are still getting sunburnt on a regular basis despite having good knowledge about sun-protective intentions. Sunburns often occur during unplanned sun exposure, around the home or during activities where people do not expect to be outside for long. UVR feedback could assist in reducing exposure levels and decreasing the risk of skin cancer.
The Skntec Study
Researchers from ihop, the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) and University of the Sunshine Coast conducted the Skntec study to directly test the use of personal UVR monitoring devices and smartphone apps and the impact they may have on people’s sun exposure. The Skntec study was conducted with participants 18-30 years old between September 2015 and March 2016. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires, test the UVR devices and apps, as well as record their sun exposure, sunburn and physical activity levels over time.
Why is this study important?
This study was one of the first clinical experiments to directly test the use of UVR devices and the impact they may have (if any) on peoples’ sun exposure behaviours.
Results are currently being analysed.
Skntec Study in the news
Finch, Linda, Janda, Monika, Loescher, Lois J., & Hacker, Elke (2016) Can skin cancer prevention be improved through mobile technology interventions? A systematic review. Preventive Medicine, 90, pp. 121-132.