Breast Cancer Survivors' Perspectives on Motivational and Personalization Strategies in Mobile App-Based Physical Activity Coaching Interventions: Qualitative Study

Title: Breast Cancer Survivors' Perspectives on Motivational and Personalization Strategies in Mobile App-Based Physical Activity Coaching Interventions: Qualitative Study
Authors: Monteiro-Guerra, FranciscoSignorelli, GabrielRivera-Romero, OctavioDorronzoro Zubiete, EnriqueCaulfield, Brian
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/11628
Date: 21-Sep-2020
Online since: 2020-10-16T11:42:16Z
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Despite growing evidence supporting the vital benefits of physical activity (PA) for breast cancer survivors, the majority do not meet the recommended levels of activity. Mobile app-based PA coaching interventions might be a feasible strategy to facilitate adherence of breast cancer survivors to the PA guidelines. To engage these individuals, PA apps need to be specifically designed based on their needs and preferences and to provide targeted support and motivation. However, more information is needed to understand how these technologies can provide individual and relevant experiences that have the ability to increase PA adherence and retain the individual's interest in the long term. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to explore insights from breast cancer survivors on motivational and personalization strategies to be used in PA coaching apps and interventions. METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted, using individual semistructured interviews, with 14 breast cancer survivors. The moderator asked open-ended questions and made use of a slideshow presentation to elicit the participants' perspectives on potential mobile app-based intervention features. Transcribed interviews were evaluated by 3 reviewers using thematic content analysis. RESULTS: Participants (mean age 53.3, SD 8.7 years) were White women. In total, 57% (8/14) of the participants did not adhere to the PA guidelines. In general, participants had access to and were interested in using technology. The identified themes included (1) barriers to PA, (2) psychological mediators of PA motivation, (3) needs and suggestions for reinforcing motivation support, (4) personalization aspects of the PA coaching experience, and (5) technology trustworthiness. Motivational determinants included perceived control, confidence and perceived growth, and connectedness. Participants were interested in having a straightforward app for monitoring and goal setting, which would include a prescribed activity program and schedule, and positive communication. Opinions varied in terms of social and game-like system possibilities. In addition, they expressed a desire for a highly personalized coaching experience based on as much information collected from them as possible (eg, disease stage, physical limitations, preferences) to provide individualized progress information, dynamic adjustment of the training plan, and context-aware activity suggestions (eg, based on weather and location). Participants also wanted the app to be validated or backed by professionals and were willing to share their data in exchange for a more personalized experience. CONCLUSIONS: This work suggests the need to develop simple, guiding, encouraging, trustworthy, and personalized PA coaching apps. The findings are in line with behavioral and personalization theories and methods that can be used to inform intervention design decisions. This paper opens new possibilities for the design of personalized and motivating PA coaching app experiences for breast cancer survivors, which might ultimately facilitate the sustained adherence of these individuals to the recommended levels of activity.
Funding Details: European Commission Horizon 2020
metadata.dc.description.othersponsorship: University of Seville
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: JMIR
Journal: JMIR mHealth and uHealth
Volume: 8
Issue: 9
Copyright (published version): 2020 the Authors
Keywords: Breast cancerCoachingmHealthMobile appMobile phonePhysical activity
DOI: 10.2196/18867
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science Research Collection
Insight Research Collection

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