mobile health, wellness coaching, breast cancer, survivorship, nutrition, physical activity
Purpose: Breast cancer survivors are at increased risk of cancer recurrence, second malignancies, and other comorbid conditions. This study examined if use of a convenient, commercially available, $65 per month app that gives breast cancer survivors access to a health and wellness coach is more effective than a self-guided toolkit and one-time health education session at achieving the following goals: 1) improving adherence to a plant-based diet, 2) increasing physical activity, 3) assisting with weight loss and reduction in body mass index, 4) reducing elevated depression and fatigue scores, and 5) leading to sustained adherence to lifestyle and wellness plan at and beyond 6 months.
Methods: A nonrandomized 2-group control study design with pre-post repeated measures (N = 127 subjects) was utilized. Women 18 years of age or older, with curative-intent breast cancer, were included in the study. App users received a survivorship care plan and enrolled in a 6-month subscription to the health app. A control group received the same information but, instead of access to the app, were given a self-guided toolkit.
Results: At 6 months, more patients in the app group experienced weight loss and had a significantly greater reduction in overall body mass index (P < 0.01). The app group also demonstrated statistically significant improvements in “strenuous” physical activity (P = 0.04) and had significant improvement in their dietary patterns (P < 0.001), as compared to the self-guided group. The app group had greater reduction in fatigue and improvement in depression, but these changes were not statistically significant. At 12 months, none of the app users were still using the app, but many were still following their wellness plan and had maintained their weight loss. Outliers in both groups and low rate of response made evaluation of results difficult.
Conclusions: The results of this advanced practice provider-led study demonstrated that a live health coaching app that provides wellness coaching can offer motivated breast cancer survivors and cancer programs a modality that offers convenient, effective support at a reasonable cost.
Cairo J, Williams L, Bray L, Goetzke K, Perez AC. Evaluation of a mobile health intervention to improve wellness outcomes for breast cancer survivors. J Patient Cent Res Rev. 2020;7:313-22. doi: 10.17294/2330-0698.1733
October 11th, 2019
July 29th, 2020