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.
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.
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).
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.
This study provides insight into how to better accommodate breast cancer survivors in the future and ultimately design more engaging computer-tailored interventions.
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CES is supported by an Early Career Fellowship (ID 1090517) from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. ALR is supported by an Early Career Fellowship (ID1105926) from the National Health Medical Research Council. KSC is supported by the Canada Research Chairs Program. CV is supported by a Future Leader Fellowship from the National Heart Foundation of Australia (ID 100427). MJD is supported by a Future Leader Fellowship (ID 100029) from the National Heart Foundation of Australia. RCP is supported by a Senior Research Fellowship Award from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. The authors would like to thank BCNA and Register4 for their assistance recruiting participants, as well as the breast cancer survivors that volunteered their time and perspectives to help us evaluate and hopefully improve the platform.
Ethics approval was obtained from the Central Queensland University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (EC00158).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Short, C.E., James, E.L., Rebar, A.L. et al. Designing more engaging computer-tailored physical activity behaviour change interventions for breast cancer survivors: lessons from the iMove More for Life study. Support Care Cancer 25, 3569–3585 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-017-3786-5
- Breast cancer survivor
- Computer tailor
- Physical activity