Designing more engaging computer-tailored physical activity behaviour change interventions for breast cancer survivors: lessons from the iMove More for Life study

  • C. E. Short
  • E. L. James
  • A. L Rebar
  • M. J. Duncan
  • K. S. Courneya
  • R. C. Plotnikoff
  • R. Crutzen
  • N. Bidargaddi
  • C. Vandelanotte
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Participating in regular physical activity is a recommended cancer recovery strategy for breast cancer survivors. However, tailored support services are not widely available and most survivors are insufficiently active to obtain health benefits. Delivering tailored programs via the Internet offers one promising approach. However, recent evaluations of such programs suggest that major improvements are needed to ensure programs meet the needs of users and are delivered in an engaging way. Understanding participants’ experiences with current programs can help to inform the next generation of systems.

Purpose

The purposes of this study are to explore breast cancer survivor’s perspectives of and experiences using a novel computer-tailored intervention and to describe recommendations for future iterations.

Methods

Qualitative data from a sub-sample of iMove More for Life study participants were analysed thematically to identify key themes. Participants long-term goals for participating in the program were explored by analysing open-ended data extracted from action plans completed during the intervention (n = 370). Participants negative and positive perceptions of the website and recommendations for improvement were explored using data extracted from open-ended survey items collected at the immediate intervention follow-up (n = 156).

Results

The majority of participants reported multi-faceted goals, consisting of two or more outcomes they hoped to achieve within a year. While clear themes were identified (e.g. ‘being satisfied with body weight’), there was considerable variability in the scope of the goal (e.g. desired weight loss ranged from 2 to 30 kg). Participants’ perceptions of the website were mixed, but clear indications were provided of how intervention content and structure could be improved.

Conclusions

This study provides insight into how to better accommodate breast cancer survivors in the future and ultimately design more engaging computer-tailored interventions.

Keywords

Breast cancer survivor Computer tailor Intervention Physical activity Qualitative 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. E. Short
    • 1
  • E. L. James
    • 2
  • A. L Rebar
    • 3
  • M. J. Duncan
    • 4
  • K. S. Courneya
    • 5
  • R. C. Plotnikoff
    • 4
  • R. Crutzen
    • 6
  • N. Bidargaddi
    • 7
  • C. Vandelanotte
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Medicine, Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s HealthUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.School of Medicine and Public Health, Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition & Priority Research Centre in Health BehaviourUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  3. 3.School of Human, Health and Social Sciences, Physical Activity Research GroupCentral Queensland UniversityRockhamptonAustralia
  4. 4.School of Education, Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, CallaghanUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  5. 5.Faculty of Physical Education and RecreationUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  6. 6.Department of Health Promotion/CAPHRIMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  7. 7.School of Medicine, Personal Health Informatics GroupFlinders UniversityClovelly ParkAustralia

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