Designing with Dissemination in Mind: Optimization of a mHealth Physical Activity Intervention for Breast Cancer Survivors

Project: Research project

Project Details


Increased physical activity (PA) is consistently associated with reductions in treatment-related side effects, cancer recurrence and mortality and increased QOL and survival in breast cancer survivors. Despite these benefits, survivors demonstrate decreases in PA that persist post-treatment, and the majority do not meet public health recommendations for PA. Most existing studies of PA in this population are intense, on-site multicomponent interventions that provide little insight into what components are effective and have limited potential to be brought to scale. The purpose of this K07 Career Development Award is to assist Siobhan M. Phillips, PhD, MPH in becoming a productive independent investigator and leader in designing and implementing optimized mHealth PA behavior change interventions in cancer survivors to reduce disease burden and improve QOL. Dr. Phillips’s short-term career goals include specialized training in 1) PA and cancer survivorship, 2) the use of mobile health (mHealth) for implementing PA interventions, 3) Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) methodology and 4) dissemination and implementation (D&I) sciences. In collaboration with her mentors and advisors, she has developed a training plan to reach these goals through a combination of coursework, seminars, specialized trainings, independent studies, and a research project mentored by a multidisciplinary team of experts in cancer control and behavioral, exercise and D&I sciences. The purpose of the proposed research is to apply MOST methodology to develop and pilot test a set of mHealth PA intervention components for breast cancer survivors targeted at social cognitive constructs and designed with D&I in mind from the outset. MOST is an innovative, multi-phase framework adapted from engineering that uses highly efficient factorial experiments to evaluate the individual and combined effect of intervention components to determine which components can be reduced, eliminated or replaced to improve efficiency. The intervention components to be tested will be chosen and refined based on input from survivors, clinicians, experts, and community partners. We will pilot test the feasibility (i.e. intervention reach, participant retention, adherence to intervention protocol) and acceptability of candidate intervention components in breast cancer survivors (n=250) in a 12-week MOST experiment. We will also examine potential effects of intervention components on PA and patient reported outcomes (PROs) including fatigue, depression and health-related QOL. We hypothesize that a) the intervention components will be feasible and acceptable and b) a set of components will emerge as most effective for increasing PA and/or PROs. The proposed study represents the first systematic effort to use MOST to design a highly disseminable mHealth PA intervention for breast cancer survivors. The proposed career development plan will facilitate Dr. Phillips’s successful transition to becoming a leading independent investigator in cancer control with expertise in designing and implementing more scaleable mHealth PA interventions for cancer survivors to improve health and disease outcomes.
Effective start/end date9/1/1510/31/20


  • National Cancer Institute (5K07CA196840-05)


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