Development and evaluation of an accelerometer-based protocol for measuring physical activity levels in cancer survivors: Development and usability study

Tracy E. Crane, Meghan B. Skiba, Austin Miller, David O. Garcia, Cynthia A. Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The collection of self-reported physical activity using validated questionnaires has known bias and measurement error. Objective: Accelerometry, an objective measure of daily activity, increases the rigor and accuracy of physical activity measurements. Here, we describe the methodology and related protocols for accelerometry data collection and quality assurance using the Actigraph GT9X accelerometer data collection in a convenience sample of ovarian cancer survivors enrolled in GOG/NRG 0225, a 24-month randomized controlled trial of diet and physical activity intervention versus attention control. Methods: From July 2015 to December 2019, accelerometers were mailed on 1337 separate occasions to 580 study participants to wear at 4 time points (baseline, 6, 12, and 24 months) for 7 consecutive days. Study staff contacted participants via telephone to confirm their availability to wear the accelerometers and reviewed instructions and procedures regarding the return of the accelerometers and assisted with any technology concerns. Results: We evaluated factors associated with wear compliance, including activity tracking, use of a mobile app, and demographic characteristics with chi-square tests and logistic regression. Compliant data, defined as ≥4 consecutive days with ≥10 hours daily wear time, exceeded 90% at all study time points. Activity tracking, but no other characteristics, was significantly associated with compliant data at all time points (P<.001). This implementation of data collection through accelerometry provided highly compliant and usable activity data in women who recently completed treatment for ovarian cancer. Conclusions: The high compliance and data quality associated with this protocol suggest that it could be disseminated to support researchers who seek to collect robust objective activity data in cancer survivors residing in a wide geographic area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere18491
JournalJMIR mHealth and uHealth
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Activity trackers
  • Cancer survivors
  • Mobile phone
  • Physical activity
  • Wearable electronic devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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