JMIR Cancer

Patient-Centered Innovations, Education and Technology for Cancer Care and Cancer Research

A pilot study to test the efficacy of a mobile-enabled web application (iCanFit) to promote physical activity among older cancer survivors

Background: The benefits of physical activity for cancer survivors are well documented. However, few older cancer survivors are engaged in regular physical activity. Mobile technologies may be an effective method to deliver physical activity promotion programs for older cancer survivors. iCanFit, a mobile-enabled web application, was developed based on formative research and usability testing. This app includes interactive features of physical activity goal setting and tracking and receiving personalized visual feedback. Objective: The purpose of the current study was to pilot test the initial efficacy of iCanFit. Methods: We recruited 30 older cancer survivors online through our collaborative partnership with a cancer survivors’ organization. After the participants completed an online baseline survey, they were asked to use www.icanfit.org. Instructional videos on how to use the web app were available on the site. Two months later, participants were asked to complete a follow-up survey. Participants’ physical activity, quality of life, and their experience with iCanFit were measured. Results: A total of 27 participants completed the baseline survey, and 22 of them (82%) also completed a follow-up survey two months later. The average age of participants was 66, ranging from 60 to 78 years. Participants’ quality of life and physical activity improved after the use of iCanFit; those who were not physically active learned to use iCanFit to make physical activity plans and exercise regularly. Qualitative interviews indicated a general affinity towards the key function of “Goals” in iCanFit, which motivated continued activity. Participants also provided suggestions to further improve the app (e.g., adding reminder functionality, easier or alternative ways of entering activities). Conclusions: The interactive web app of iCanFit has demonstrated initial efficacy. Even though our study was limited by a small sample size, convenience sampling, and a short follow-up period, results suggest that using mobile tools to promote physical activity and healthy living among older cancer survivors holds promise. Next steps include refining the iCanFit based on users’ feedback and developing versatile functionality to allow easier physical activity goal setting and tracking. We also call for more studies on developing and evaluating mobile and web app for older cancer survivors.

2015-02-10

We are pleased to announce our forthcoming new journals, all of which have currently no submission or publication fees, and all of which focus on emerging technologies and patient-centered innovations in specific areas, going beyond Internet/webbased interventions: * JMIR Cancer (http://cancer.jmir.org) * JMIR Medical Education (http://mededu.jmir.org) * JMIR Public Health and Surveillance (http://publichealth.jmir.org) We welcome submissions for the inaugural issues of these journals. The following journals have already published articles and are still free of charge to publish in (no submission or publication fees): * JMIR Human Factors (http://humanfactors.jmir.org) * JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies (http://rehab.jmir.org) * JMIR Mental Health (http://mental.jmir.org) To submit to these journals, simply append /author to the URLs above (e.g. http://cancer.jmir.org/author), or submit to the main JMIR journal and use the dropdown-box in step 1 to change the journal name. All journals offer careful copyediting and typesetting of manuscripts, and submission to PubMed and PubMed Central (being new journals it may however take a few month until they appear in PubMed). We are also happy to announce that JMIR Medical Informatics and JMIR Serious Games are now indexed in PubMed.

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Journal Description

JMIR Cancer (JC) is a new peer-reviewed journal with a focus on education, innovation and technology in cancer care and cancer research, as well as in participatory and patient-centred approaches. A sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), the leading eHealth journal with an impact factor of 4.7, the scope of JC is broader and includes non-Internet approaches to improve cancer care and cancer research.

We invite submission of original research, viewpoints, reviews, tutorials, case studies, and non-conventional articles (e.g. open patient education material and software resources that are not yet evaluated but free for others to use/implement). 

In our "Patients' Corner", we invite patients and survivors to submit short essays and viewpoints on all aspects of cancer, but in particular suggestions on how to improve the health care system, and suggestions for new technologies, applications and approaches (no article processing fees).

Articles published in JC will be submitted to PubMed and Pubmed Central. JC is open access and there are no publication costs for the first issues.

 

Recent Articles:

  • Screenshot of info for the black salve.

    YouTube Videos Related to Skin Cancer: A Missed Opportunity for Cancer Prevention and Control

    Abstract:

    Background: Early detection and treatment influence the mortality risk of skin cancer. Objective: The objective of this study was to analyze the content of the most viewed professional and consumer videos uploaded to YouTube related to skin cancer. Methods: A total of 140 professional and consumer videos uploaded between 2007 and 2014 were identified and coded. Coding involved identifying and sorting followed by gathering descriptive information, including length of the video, number of views, and year uploaded. A dichotomous coding scheme (ie, yes or no) was used in coding specific aspects of video content, including provision of information, type of skin cancer, age group, family history, risk reduction, risk factors, fear, and home remedies for skin cancer treatment. Results: The majority of videos provided information related to screening. Many consumer videos conveyed information related to the use of a black salve as a home remedy for skin cancer, despite the fact that there is no evidence that it is an effective treatment. Conclusions: Research is needed to identify characteristics of videos that are most likely to be viewed to inform the development of credible communications.

Citing this Article

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Latest Submissions Open for Peer-Review:

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  • A pilot study to test the efficacy of a mobile-enabled web application (iCanFit) to promote physical activity among older cancer survivors

    Date Submitted: Feb 28, 2015

    Open Peer Review Period: Mar 1, 2015 - Mar 7, 2015

    Background: The benefits of physical activity for cancer survivors are well documented. However, few older cancer survivors are engaged in regular physical activity. Mobile technologies may be an effe...

    Background: The benefits of physical activity for cancer survivors are well documented. However, few older cancer survivors are engaged in regular physical activity. Mobile technologies may be an effective method to deliver physical activity promotion programs for older cancer survivors. iCanFit, a mobile-enabled web application, was developed based on formative research and usability testing. This app includes interactive features of physical activity goal setting and tracking and receiving personalized visual feedback. Objective: The purpose of the current study was to pilot test the initial efficacy of iCanFit. Methods: We recruited 30 older cancer survivors online through our collaborative partnership with a cancer survivors’ organization. After the participants completed an online baseline survey, they were asked to use www.icanfit.org. Instructional videos on how to use the web app were available on the site. Two months later, participants were asked to complete a follow-up survey. Participants’ physical activity, quality of life, and their experience with iCanFit were measured. Results: A total of 27 participants completed the baseline survey, and 22 of them (82%) also completed a follow-up survey two months later. The average age of participants was 66, ranging from 60 to 78 years. Participants’ quality of life and physical activity improved after the use of iCanFit; those who were not physically active learned to use iCanFit to make physical activity plans and exercise regularly. Qualitative interviews indicated a general affinity towards the key function of “Goals” in iCanFit, which motivated continued activity. Participants also provided suggestions to further improve the app (e.g., adding reminder functionality, easier or alternative ways of entering activities). Conclusions: The interactive web app of iCanFit has demonstrated initial efficacy. Even though our study was limited by a small sample size, convenience sampling, and a short follow-up period, results suggest that using mobile tools to promote physical activity and healthy living among older cancer survivors holds promise. Next steps include refining the iCanFit based on users’ feedback and developing versatile functionality to allow easier physical activity goal setting and tracking. We also call for more studies on developing and evaluating mobile and web app for older cancer survivors.