Comparing the Effectiveness of a Wearable Activity Tracker in Addition to Counseling and Counseling Only to Reinforce Leisure-Time Physical Activity among Breast Cancer Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Cancers (Basel). 2021 May 30;13(11):2692. doi: 10.3390/cancers13112692.

Abstract

This randomized controlled trial aimed to compare the effectiveness of a wearable activity tracker (WAT) in addition to counseling (WAT+counseling) and counseling only for reinforcing leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) among breast cancer patients during radiotherapy (RT). A total of 152 breast cancer patients who were planning to undergo radiation therapy (RT) after surgery participated in the study. The WAT+counseling group (n = 76) underwent physical activity (PA) self-monitoring using a WAT and participated in counseling. The counseling-only group (n = 76) received telephone counseling once a week during RT and did not receive WAT. The WAT+counseling group had increased relative change in self-reported LTPA (102.8) compared with the counseling-only group (57.8) immediately after RT compared to baseline. Although the relative changes of self-reported LTPA of the WAT+counseling group were higher at three and six months after the end of RT compared to in the counseling-only group, the results were not significant. The mean average daily step count of the WAT+counseling group was 9351.7, which increased to 11,592.2 during RT and 12,240.1 after RT. In the subgroup analysis, patients who did not perform regular PA before cancer diagnosis had significantly increased step counts. This study shows the feasibility of WAT with counseling to reinforce PA among breast cancer patients.

Keywords: breast cancer; physical activity; radiation therapy; reinforcing factor; step counters; wearable activity tracker.