Efficacy of a mobile-enabled web app (icanfit) in promoting physical activity among older cancer survivors: A pilot study

Yan Alicia Hong, Daniel Goldberg, Marcia G. Ory, Samuel D. Towne, Samuel N. Forjuoh, Debra Kellstedt, Suojin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


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-based app, 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 aim of this study is to pilot test the initial efficacy of iCanFit. Methods: Older cancer survivors (N=30) were recruited online through our collaborative partnership with a cancer survivor's organization. After the participants completed an online baseline survey, they were asked to use the iCanFit website. Instructional videos on how to use the web app were available on the website. Participants were asked to complete a follow-up survey 2-3 months later. Participants' physical activity, quality of life, and their experience with iCanFit were measured. Results: A total of 30 participants completed the baseline survey, and 26 of them (87%, 26/30) also completed a follow-up survey 2-3 months later. The median age of participants was 69 years (range 60-78). Participants' quality of life and engagement in regular physical activity improved significantly after the use of iCanFit. Participants indicated a general affinity towards the key function "Goals" in iCanFit, which motivated continued activity. They also provided suggestions to further improve the app (eg, adding a reminder functionality, easier or alternative ways of entering activities). Conclusion: The interactive Web-based app 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 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 apps for older cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere7
JournalJMIR Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Cancer survivors
  • ICanFit
  • Mobile health
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity
  • Pilot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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