Let’s build an app for that Challenges and lessons learned in exercise oncology

Main Article Content

Manuel Ester
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4961-6063
Julianna Dreger
Utkarsh Subnis
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2313-9334
Shaneel Pathak
S.Nicole Culos-Reed

Abstract

The promotion of physical activity behavior change among adults with cancer is a research priority. Within this field, increasing attention is being devoted to the use of health technology, which includes mobile phones and applications, or apps, to support and deliver physical activity behavior change interventions. While building a mobile app is a popular proposal among exercise oncology researchers, little practical information exists on how this process should be done or what considerations researchers should take in collaboration with participants and industry. The present article provides an overview of recent experiences with app development in exercise oncology and outlines several recommendations for future research. Methods and Results: After forming an interdisciplinary team of researchers, industry partners, and exercise oncology program participants, an iterative, user-centered app improvement process was followed to collect feedback and make meaningful changes to an existing mobile health app for its use in exercise oncology. Participant feedback was summarized and addressed collaboratively via open discussion and detailed action plans. Changes made include enhanced introductory materials for the app and improvements to usability and personalization. Some requests remain to be addressed in future updates. Two challenges identified during the app improvement process were balancing the unique needs and priorities of all parties, as well as addressing the variable feedback from a variable population of adults with cancer. Conclusions and significance: A multidisciplinary participant-oriented app improvement process led to meaningful updates to the mobile application of interest, preparing researchers to carry out an evaluation of its effectiveness within exercise oncology. Furthermore, based on lessons learned, the research team present key recommendations to consider in future mobile app research before, during, and after the development process.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ester, M., Dreger, J., Subnis, U., Pathak, S., & Culos-Reed, S. (2021). Let’s build an app for that: Challenges and lessons learned in exercise oncology. Communications in Kinesiology, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.51224/cik.v1i2.37
Section
Physical Activity, Health, and Disease

References

Chan, R. J., Howell, D., Lustberg, M. B., Mustian, K., Koczwara, B., Ng, C. C., Kim, Y., Nápoles, A. M., Dixit, N., Klemanski, D., Ke, Y., Toh, Y. L., Fitch, M. I., Crichton, M., Agarawal, S., & Chan, A. (2020a). Advances and future directions in the use of mobile health in supportive cancer care: Proceedings of the 2019 MASCC annual meeting symposium. Supportive Care in Cancer, 28(9), 4059–4067. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05513-x

Chan, R. J., Howell, D., Lustberg, M. B., Mustian, K., Koczwara, B., Ng, C. C., Kim, Y., Nápoles, A. M., Dixit, N., Klemanski, D., Ke, Y., Toh, Y. L., Fitch, M. I., Crichton, M., Agarawal, S., & Chan, A. (2020b). Advances and future directions in the use of mobile health in supportive cancer care: Proceedings of the 2019 MASCC annual meeting symposium. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 28(9), 4059–4067. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05513-x

Clifford, B. K., Mizrahi, D., Sandler, C. X., Barry, B. K., Simar, D., Wakefield, C. E., & Goldstein, D. (2017). Barriers and facilitators of exercise experienced by cancer survivors: A mixed methods systematic review. Supportive Care in Cancer, 26(3), 685–700. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-017-3964-5

Ester, M., Eisele, M., Wurz, A., McDonough, M. H., McNeely, M., & Culos-Reed, S. N. (2021). Current evidence and directions for future research in eHealth physical activity interventions for adults affected by cancer: Systematic review. 7(3), e28852. https://doi.org/10.2196/28852

Ester, M., McNeely, M. L., McDonough, M. H., Dreger, J., & Culos-Reed, S. N. (2021). Protocol: A cluster randomized controlled trial of a mobile application to support physical activity maintenance after an exercise oncology program. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 107, 106474. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2021.106474

Flora, H. K., & Chande, S. V. (2013). A review and anaysis on mobile application development processes using agile methodlogies. International Journal of Research in Computer Science, 3(4), 9.

Flora, H. K., Wang, X., & V.Chande, S. (2014). An investigation into mobile application development processes: Challenges and best practices. International Journal of Modern Education and Computer Science, 6(6), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.5815/ijmecs.2014.06.01

Glasgow, R. E., Vogt, T. M., & Boles, S. M. (1999). Evaluating the public health impact of health promotion interventions: The RE-AIM framework. American Journal of Public Health, 89(9), 1322–1327. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.89.9.1322

Groen, W. G., Kuijpers, W., Oldenburg, H. S., Wouters, M. W., Aaronson, N. K., & Harten, W. H. van. (2015). Empowerment of cancer survivors through information technology: An integrative review. JMIR, 17(11), e270. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.4818

Health Research, C. I. of. (2012). Guide to knowledge translation planning at CIHR: Integrated and end-of-grant approaches. Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Health Research, C. I. of. (2013). Canada’s strategy for patient-oriented research: Improving health outcomes through evidence-informed care. Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

McNeely, M. L., Sellar, C., Williamson, T., Shea-Budgell, M., Joy, A. A., Lau, H. Y., Easaw, J. C., Murtha, A. D., Vallance, J., Courneya, K., Mackey, J. R., Parliament, M., & Culos-Reed, N. (2019). Community-based exercise for health promotion and secondary cancer prevention in canada: Protocol for a hybrid effectiveness-implementation study. BMJ Open, 9(9). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029975

Michie, S., Abraham, C., Whittington, C., McAteer, J., & Gupta, S. (2009). Effective techniques in healthy eating and physical activity interventions: A meta-regression. "Health Psychology", 28(6), 690–701. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0016136

Middelweerd, A., Mollee, J. S., Wal, C. N. van der, Brug, J., & Velde, S. J. te. (2014). Apps to promote physical activity among adults: A review and content analysis. 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-014-0097-9

Robertson, M. C., Tsai, E., Lyons, E. J., Srinivasan, S., Swartz, M. C., Baum, M. L., & Basen-Engquist, K. M. (2017). Mobile health physical activity intervention preferences in cancer survivors: A qualitative study. 5(1), e3. https://doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.6970

Schnall, R., Rojas, M., Bakken, S., Brown, W., Carballo-Dieguez, A., Carry, M., Gelaude, D., Mosley, J. P., & Travers, J. (2016). A user-centered model for designing consumer mobile health (mHealth) applications (apps). Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 60, 243–251. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbi.2016.02.002

Sheeran, P., Abraham, C., Jones, K., Villegas, M., Avishai, A., Symes, Y. R., Ellinger, H., Miles, E., Gates, K. M., Wright, C. E., Ribisl, K. M., & Mayer, D. K. (2019). Promoting physical activity among cancer survivors: Meta-analysis and meta-CART analysis of randomized controlled trials. Health Psychology, 38(6), 467–482. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000712

Spark, L. C., Reeves, M. M., Fjeldsoe, B. S., & Eakin, E. G. (2012). Physical activity and/or dietary interventions in breast cancer survivors: A systematic review of the maintenance of outcomes. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 7(1), 74–82. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-012-0246-6

Stout, N. L., Baima, J., Swisher, A. K., Winters-Stone, K. M., & Welsh, J. (2017). A systematic review of exercise systematic reviews in the cancer literature (2005-2017). PM&R, 9(9, Supplement 2), S347–S384. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmrj.2017.07.074

Thraen-Borowski, K. M., Gennuso, K. P., & Cadmus-Bertram, L. (2017). Accelerometer-derived physical activity and sedentary time by cancer type in the united states. PLOS ONE, 12, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182554

Vandelanotte, C., Muller, A. M., Short, C. E., Hingle, M., Nathan, N., Williams, S., Lopez, M. L., Parekh, S., & Maher, C. A. (2016). Past, present, and future of eHealth and mHealth research to improve physical activity and dietary behaviors. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 48(3), 219–228.e1. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2015.12.006

Vithani, T., & Kumar, A. (2014). Modeling the mobile application development lifecycle. Proceedings of the International MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists, 1, 596–600.