A UVR-sensor wearable device intervention to reduce sun exposure in melanoma survivors: Results from a randomized controlled trial

Rachel Isaksson Vogel, Xianghua Luo, Katherine Brown, Patricia Jewett, Allison C. Dona, Rebekah H. Nagler, Rehana L. Ahmed, Brian C. Martinson, De Ann Lazovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background Melanoma survivors are at increased risk of developing a second primary melanoma; however, some report sub-optimal sun behaviors and sunburns. We tested the effectiveness of a wearable device with ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-sensing technology to improve sun behaviors and reduce sunburns in cutaneous melanoma survivors. Materials and methods We conducted a randomized controlled trial using Shade 2, a commercially available wrist device that measures UVR. The intervention group received the device and mobile application notifications about their exposure and prompts to use sunscreen. The control group received the device and a separate research mobile application without information about their exposure or notifications. Participants wore the device for 12 weeks and self-reported sun behaviors before, during, and after the intervention. The primary outcome was a composite score of sun protection behaviors at week 12. Results 386 participants were randomized (186 control, 182 intervention). Most were female and 5+ years past their first melanoma diagnosis. The average age was 56 years. Most (93%) completed the study, though 40% experienced device issues. No meaningful differences were observed in self-reported sun protection behaviors at week 12 (controls 3.0±0.5 vs. intervention 2.9±0.5, p = 0.06), any sunburn during the intervention period (controls 14.4% vs. intervention 12.7%, p = 0.75), or average daily objective UVR exposure (controls median 87 vs. intervention 83 J/m2, p = 0.43). Conclusion Wearing a device that measured and alerted melanoma survivors to UVR exposure did not result in different sun behaviors, exposure, or sunburns relative to controls. The technology needs refinement before further attempts to assess the effectiveness of self-monitoring UVR exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0281480
JournalPloS one
Issue number2 February
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Melanoma Research Alliance Wayne Stinchcomb Big Orange Foundation – MRA Young Investigator Award (RIV, https://doi.org/10.48050/pc.gr.80546) and an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award (RIV, 133512-RSG-19-014-01-CPPB). Preliminary studies were supported by the Masonic Cancer Center of the University of Minnesota (NIH P30 CA77598). Use of data collection and management tools were supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, grant UL1TR002494. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Vogel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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