Effects of video-based, online education on behavioral and knowledge outcomes in sunscreen use: a randomized controlled trial

Patient Educ Couns. 2011 May;83(2):273-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.04.033. Epub 2010 Jun 1.


Objectives: To compare online video and pamphlet education at improving patient comprehension and adherence to sunscreen use, and to assess patient satisfaction with the two educational approaches.

Methods: In a randomized controlled trial, 94 participants received either online, video-based education or pamphlet-based education that described the importance and proper use of sunscreen. Sun protective knowledge and sunscreen application behaviors were assessed at baseline and 12 weeks after group-specific intervention.

Results: Participants in both groups had similar levels of baseline sunscreen knowledge. Post-study analysis revealed significantly greater improvement in the knowledge scores from video group members compared to the pamphlet group (p=0.003). More importantly, video group participants reported greater sunscreen adherence (p<0.001). Finally, the video group rated their education vehicle more useful and appealing than the pamphlet group (p<0.001), and video group participants referred to the video more frequently (p=0.018).

Conclusion: Video-based learning is a more effective educational tool for teaching sun protective knowledge and encouraging sunscreen use than written materials.

Practice implications: More effective patient educational methods to encourage sun protection activities, such as regular sunscreen use, have the potential to increase awareness and foster positive, preventative health behaviors against skin cancers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Patient Education Handout
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dermatology
  • Directive Counseling / methods*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Risk-Taking
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Sunscreening Agents*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Video Recording / methods*


  • Sunscreening Agents