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      Capturing Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure and Physical Activity: Feasibility Study and Comparison Between Self-Reports, Mobile Apps, Dosimeters, and Accelerometers


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          Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in Australia. Skin cancer prevention programs aim to reduce sun exposure and increase sun protection behaviors. Effectiveness is usually assessed through self-report.


          It was the aim of this study to test the acceptance and validity of a newly developed ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure app, designed to reduce the data collection burden to research participants. Physical activity data was collected because a strong focus on sun avoidance may result in unhealthy reductions in physical activity. This paper provides lessons learned from collecting data from participants using paper diaries, a mobile app, dosimeters, and accelerometers for measuring end-points of UVR exposure and physical activity.


          Two participant groups were recruited through social and traditional media campaigns 1) Group A—UVR Diaries and 2) Group B—Physical Activity. In Group A, nineteen participants wore an UVR dosimeter wristwatch (University of Canterbury, New Zealand) when outside for 7 days. They also recorded their sun exposure and physical activity levels using both 1) the UVR diary app and 2) a paper UVR diary. In Group B, 55 participants wore an accelerometer (Actigraph, Pensacola, FL, USA) for 14 days and completed the UVR diary app. Data from the UVR diary app were compared with UVR dosimeter wristwatch, accelerometer, and paper UVR diary data. Cohen kappa coefficient score was used to determine if there was agreement between categorical variables for different UVR data collection methods and Spearman rank correlation coefficient was used to determine agreement between continuous accelerometer data and app-collected self-report physical activity.


          The mean age of participants in Groups A (n=19) and B (n=55) was 29.3 and 25.4 years, and 63% (12/19) and 75% (41/55) were females, respectively. Self-reported sun exposure data in the UVR app correlated highly with UVR dosimetry (κ=0.83, 95% CI 0.64-1.00, P<.001). Correlation between self-reported UVR app and accelerometer-collected moderate to vigorous physical activity data was low (ρ=0.23, P=.10), while agreement for low-intensity physical activity was significantly different (ρ=-0.49, P<.001). Seventy-nine percent of participants preferred the app over the paper diary for daily self-report of UVR exposure and physical activity.


          This feasibility study highlights self-report using an UVR app can reliably collect personal UVR exposure, but further improvements are required before the app can also be used to collect physical activity data.

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          Texting and Mobile Phone App Interventions for Improving Adherence to Preventive Behavior in Adolescents: A Systematic Review

          Background Many preventable behaviors contribute to adolescent mortality and morbidity. Non-adherence to preventive measures represents a challenge and has been associated with worse health outcomes in this population. The widespread use of electronic communication technologies by adolescents, particularly the use of text messaging (short message service, SMS) and mobile phones, presents new opportunities to intervene on risk and preventive risk behavior, but little is known about their efficacy. Objective This study aimed to systematically evaluate evidence for the efficacy of text messaging and mobile phone app interventions to improve adherence to preventive behavior among adolescents and describe intervention approaches to inform intervention development. Methods This review covers literature published between 1995 and 2015. Searches included PubMed, Embase, CENTRAL, PsycINFO, CINAHL, INSPEC, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and additional databases. The search strategy sought articles on text messaging and mobile phone apps combined with adherence or compliance, and adolescents and youth. An additional hand search of related themes in the Journal of Medical Internet Research was also conducted. Two reviewers independently screened titles and abstracts, assessed full-text articles, and extracted data from articles that met inclusion criteria. Included studies reflect original research—experimental or preexperimental designs with text messaging or mobile phone app interventions—targeting adherence to preventive behavior among adolescents (12-24 years old). The preferred reporting items of systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed for reporting results, and findings were critically appraised against the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine criteria. Results Of 1454 records, 19 met inclusion criteria, including text messaging (n=15) and mobile phone apps (n=4). Studies targeted clinic attendance, contraceptive use, oral health, physical activity and weight management, sun protection, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, smoking cessation, and sexual health. Most studies were performed in the United States (47%, 9/19), included younger adolescents (63%, 12/19), and had sample size <100 (63%, 12/19). Although most studies were randomized controlled trials (RCTs; 58%, 11/19), only 5 followed an intent-to-treat analysis. Only 6 of 19 studies (32%) incorporated a theoretical framework in their design. Most studies reported good feasibility with high acceptability and satisfaction. About half of the included studies (42%, 8/19) demonstrated significant improvement in preventive behavior with moderate standardized mean differences. As early efforts in this field to establish feasibility and initial efficacy, most studies were low to moderate in quality. Studies varied in sample size and methods of preventive behavior adherence or outcome assessment, which prohibited performing a meta-analysis. Conclusions Despite the promising feasibility and acceptability of text messaging and mobile phone apps in improving preventive behavior among adolescents, overall findings were modest in terms of efficacy. Further research evaluating the efficacy, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of these intervention approaches in promoting preventive behavior among adolescents is needed.
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            Can a single question provide an accurate measure of physical activity?

            The 'single-item measure' was developed as a short self-report tool for assessing physical activity. The aim of this study was to test the criterion validity of the single-item measure against accelerometry. Participants (n=66, 65% female, age: 39±11 years) wore an accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X) over a 7-day period and on day 8, completed the single-item measure. The number of days of ≥30 min of accelerometer-determined moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) were calculated using two approaches; first by including all minutes of MVPA and second by including only MVPA accumulated in bouts of ≥10 min (counts/min ≥1952). Associations between the single-item measure and accelerometer were examined using Spearman correlations and 95% limits of agreement. Percent agreement and κ statistic were used to assess agreement between the tools in classifying participants as sufficiently/insufficiently active. Correlations between the number of days of ≥30 min MVPA recorded by the single-item and accelerometer ranged from 0.46 to 0.57. Participants underreported their activity on the single-item measure (-1.59 days) when compared with all objectively measured MVPA, but stronger congruence was observed when compared with MVPA accumulated in bouts of ≥10 min (0.38 days). Overall agreement between the single-item and accelerometry in classifying participants as sufficiently/insufficiently active was 58% (k=0.23, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.41) when including all MVPA and 76% (k=0.39, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.64) when including activity undertaken in bouts of ≥10 min. The single-item measure is a valid screening tool to determine whether respondents are sufficiently active to benefit their health.
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              Multiple skin cancer risk behaviors in the U.S. population.

              The incidence of all types of skin cancer has increased over the past 3 decades in the United States. Increased skin cancer risk is associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This study examined the age-stratified prevalence and correlates of multiple skin cancer risk behaviors (infrequent use of sun-protective clothing, staying in the sun when outside on a sunny day, infrequent use of sunscreen, indoor tanning, and receiving a sunburn) among U.S. adults. 28,235 adults participating in the 2005 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) answered questions regarding sun-protection behaviors, indoor tanning in the past year, and sunburns in the past year. Examined correlates included geographic location, demographics, healthcare access, BMI, physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, melanoma family history, perceived cancer risk, skin sensitivity to the sun, and receipt of a total skin exam. The most commonly reported skin cancer risk behaviors were infrequent use of sun-protective clothing and infrequent use of sunscreen. The majority of individuals reported multiple skin cancer risk behaviors. Although significant correlates varied according to age, individuals reporting more risk behaviors were more likely younger, residing in the Midwest, male, non-Hispanic white, less-educated, smokers, risky drinkers, and had skin that was less sun-sensitive. The majority of the U.S. population engage in multiple skin cancer risk behaviors. A comprehensive approach to skin cancer prevention requires attention to multiple skin cancer risk behaviors that are common in the U.S. population.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                April 2018
                17 April 2018
                : 7
                : 4
                : e102
                [1] 1 Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation School of Public Health and Social Work Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia
                [2] 2 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Canterbury Christchurch New Zealand
                [3] 3 The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology Wellington New Zealand
                [4] 4 Institute for Health and Ageing Australian Catholic University Melbourne Australia
                [5] 5 Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering School of Health and Sport Sciences University of the Sunshine Coast Maroochydore Australia
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Elke Hacker elke.hacker@ 123456qut.edu.au
                Author information
                ©Elke Hacker, Caitlin Horsham, Martin Allen, Andrea Nathan, John Lowe, Monika Janda. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 17.04.2018.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 19 December 2017
                : 19 February 2018
                : 1 March 2018
                : 9 March 2018
                Original Paper
                Original Paper

                sun-protection,sunburn,health behaviour,health promotion,formative research


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