Patterns of use of smartphone-based interventions among latina breast cancer survivors: Secondary analysis of a pilot randomized controlled trial

Sharon H. Baik*, Laura B. Oswald, Joanna Buscemi, Diana Buitrago, Francisco Iacobelli, Alejandra Perez-Tamayo, Judith Guitelman, Frank J. Penedo, Betina Yanez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Latina breast cancer survivors experience poorer health-related quality of life (HRQoL), greater symptom burden, and more psychosocial needs compared to non-Latina breast cancer survivors. eHealth platforms such as smartphone apps are increasingly being used to deliver psychosocial interventions to cancer survivors. However, few psychosocial eHealth interventions have been developed specifically for Latina breast cancer survivors. Further, little is known about how Latinas, in general, engage with eHealth interventions and whether specific participant characteristics are associated with app use in this population. We evaluated the use of 2 culturally informed, evidence-based smartphone apps for Latina breast cancer survivors—one that was designed to improve HRQoL and reduce symptom burden (My Guide) and the other to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors (My Health). Objective: The objectives of our study were to explore the patterns of use of the My Guide intervention app and My Health attention-control app among Latina breast cancer survivors. Methods: Eighty Latina breast cancer survivors were randomized to use the My Guide or My Health app for 6 weeks. Assessments were collected at baseline (T1), immediately after the 6-week intervention (T2), and 2 weeks after T2 (T3). Specific study outcomes included subdomains of HRQoL, symptom burden, cancer-specific distress, cancer-relevant self-efficacy, and breast cancer knowledge. Results: On average, participants used their assigned app for more than 1 hour per week. Sociodemographic or psychological characteristics were not significantly associated with app use, except for employment status in the My Health group. Content related to common physical and emotional symptoms of breast cancer survivors as well as recommendations for nutrition and physical activity were most frequently accessed by My Guide and My Health participants, respectively. Lastly, clinically meaningful improvements were demonstrated in breast cancer well-being among low app users (ie, <60 minutes of use/week) of My Guide and social well-being among high app users (ie, ≥60 minutes of use/week) of My Health. Conclusions: The favorable rates of participant use across both apps suggest that Latina breast cancer survivors are interested in the content delivered across both My Guide and My Health. Furthermore, since sociodemographic variables, excluding employment status, and baseline HRQoL (psychological variable) were not related to app use, My Guide and My Health may be accessible to diverse Latina breast cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere17538
JournalJMIR Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer survivorship
  • EHealth
  • Hispanics/Latinas
  • Mobile phone
  • Psychosocial intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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