Increasing physical activity in Cancer Survivors through a Text-messaging Exercise motivation Program (ICanSTEP).

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Cancer survivors are often sedentary. Self-monitoring may promote physical activity through self-activation. We conducted a pilot trial to evaluate whether wearable activity tracker with personalized text message feedback would increase physical activity. METHODS: We enrolled 30 patients with solid tumor cancers into a non-randomized prospective intervention trial (NCT02627079): 15 had completed treatment in the past year and 15 under active treatment. Each participant received an activity tracker and daily text messages personalized to their activity level. We assessed patient-reported outcomes and 6-min walk (6 MW) at baseline and 3 months. RESULTS: Twenty-six participants completed the study. There was substantial variation in baseline activity. Overall, 39% of participants increased their steps taken by at least 20%, and 23% increased their 6 MW distance by 20% or more. More participants who had completed treatment strongly agreed (73%) that the intervention increased their exercise levels than those receiving active treatment (47%). At 3 months, there was a significant improvement in median Beck Depression Inventory-II and Godin Leisure Index composite scores. At 6 months, 72% still wore their activity tracker at least 4 days per week. CONCLUSION: We found that the intervention was well-accepted with a high completion rate at 3 months and continued self-use at 6 months. In this pilot study of combined activity tracker and motivational messaging, we found a signal for increased physical activity over a 3-month period. Future research is needed to study this technique for its impact on activity and other physical and psychological measures of well-being. IMPLICATION FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Activity tracker with personalized motivational messaging may be useful in promoting physical activity in cancer survivors.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Koontz, BF; Levine, E; McSherry, F; Niedzwiecki, D; Sutton, L; Dale, T; Streicher, M; Rushing, C; Owen, L; Kraus, WE; Bennett, G; Pollak, KI

Published Date

  • December 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 29 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 7339 - 7349

PubMed ID

  • 34050402

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1433-7339

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00520-021-06281-y


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany