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Evaluation of Adherence to Topical Agents: Applying Communication Technology to Improve Sunscreen Use

Phase 0
18 Years
Not Enrolling
Skin Cancer

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Trial Information

Evaluation of Adherence to Topical Agents: Applying Communication Technology to Improve Sunscreen Use

We propose to use communication technology to develop a novel means of monitoring and
improving adherence to topical agents. We will conduct a randomized, single-blinded,
controlled trial to assess the impact of automated reminder system on adherence rates to
sunscreens. This study will involve designing an electronic monitoring device specifically
for topical agents and creating a platform for an automated reminder system. The electronic
monitoring devices will be adaptable to tubes of varying shapes and sizes, and they will
send SMS messages to a central server in real-time each time the tube is opened. We will
create a text-message reminder system to send reminders to users' cellular phones over a
secured network. Our hypothesis is that the electronic monitoring and reminder system will
increase patients' adherence to topical agents. We will measure the impact of the
intervention on adherence rates and assess patients' views on the reminder system. This
project will allow us to engineer a novel device to electronically monitor adherence to
topical agents and to use communication technology to change patients' behavior.

Inclusion Criteria:

- 18 years of age or older at time of consent, may be men or women.

- Capable of giving informed consent

- Have a cellular phone capable of receiving text messages.

- Able to adhere to the study visit schedule and other protocol requirements.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Non-English speaking individuals

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)

Outcome Measure:

Number of Days the Subjects Are Adherent to Using Sunscreen

Outcome Description:

Participants' adherence was captured in real time using transmitting electronic monitors. At the end of the 6 week trial, the mean number of days the subjects are adherent to using sunscreen were compared.

Outcome Time Frame:

6 weeks

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Alexa B Kimball, MD MPH

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

September 2007

Completion Date:

November 2007

Related Keywords:

  • Skin Cancer
  • topical
  • medication adherence
  • adherence
  • compliance
  • medication compliance
  • sunscreen
  • reminder
  • Skin Neoplasms



Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, Massachusetts  02115
Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, Massachusetts  02114-2617