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Designing with Dissemination in Mind: Optimization of MHealth Physical Activity Intervention for Breast Cancer Survivors Study (OPT-ACT Study)

Siobhan M. Phillips, PhD, MPH, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Study abstract

A previous prospective study from this research team indicates social cognitive constructs including self-efficacy, outcome expectations, social support and goal-setting appear to be useful targets for PA interventions among breast cancer survivors. However, PA interventions targeting these constructs typically use bundled packages consisting of standardized doses of multiple components (i.e. daily logs, support calls, feedback) delivered simultaneously making it impossible to disentangle which intervention components, at what levels, and in what combination(s) do, or do not, impact target constructs and maximize PA. Granular information about the effects of discrete components is needed to optimize intervention configuration so PA and scalability are maximized and burden and cost minimized. Using traditional study designs (i.e. randomized clinical trials) to test each component one at a time is inefficient in terms of time and expense. More efficient research methods must be used to simultaneously compare the effects of multiple intervention components.

Study review

This study enrolled women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer within the past five years to help researchers develop and test  a mobile phone app to help breast cancer survivors increase their physical activity. The app developed in this study will be tested in a clinical trial that will help the researchers determine if its use increases breast cancer survivors’ physical activity levels. Army of Women recruitment opened on February 24, 2016, and focused on enrolling breast cancer survivors in the Chicago, Illinois area. After 24 women expressed interested, the research team decided to open enrollment to survivors throughout the US on March 9, 2016. Within 24 hours, 196 women expressed interest in participating and the research team closed enrollment. 

Learn about the testing of this app in the Fit2Thrive study

Research Webinar:
Development of Fit2Thrive: A Technology-Supported Physical Activity Intervention for Breast Cancer Survivors