Background: Engaging in regular physical activity significantly improves the health and quality of life outcomes of breast cancer survivors. Unfortunately, most breast cancer survivors are insufficiently active to obtain health benefits. Cost-effective and sustainable approaches to physical activity promotion targeted at this group are needed.
Aim:This study investigates the effects of three online computer-tailored interventions (differing in delivery schedule) designed to promote physical activity among breast cancer survivors. The interventions were adapted from a previously evaluated print-based intervention (consisting of 3 tailored newsletters delivered monthly) to allow for delivery online, and/or different delivery schedules.
Methods:Study invitations were sent to breast cancer-related review and survey groups (n = >10,000) in Australia. Of those invited, 725 logged on to the website and completed the screening survey; 549 were eligible and randomised to receive either a single module intervention, a three-module intervention delivered weekly, or a three-module intervention delivered monthly. Physical activity participation (mins/week of moderate-vigorous aerobic activity and resistance-training sessions) is assessed using a previously validated tool. Usability and acceptability is assessed using purpose-built items based on theory related to engagement in online interventions. Assessments occur via the study website at baseline, 3 and 6 months post-baseline.
Results:Of those randomised, 503 (91%) completed baseline. Participants were generally middle-aged (mean age = 55, SD = 9.72) and married (74%), but heterogeneous in terms of income, education and location type. The 3-month follow-up data are currently being collected (complete in November 2014). Preliminary analyses using available data (n = 40) show that the website is rated positively by all participants but physical activity is greatest (p=0.08) in the three module intervention delivered monthly.
Conclusions: Online interventions are promising low-cost approach for promoting physical activity among breast cancer survivors. This study provides important insights useful for informing future breast cancer recovery initiatives delivered online.