Evaluation of a social cognitive theory-based email intervention designed to influence the physical activity of survivors of breast cancer

Authors


Correspondence to: University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 225 Cajundome Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70506, USA. E-mail: axh6653@louisiana.edu

Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study is to evaluate a 12-week social cognitive theory (SCT)-based email intervention designed to influence the physical activity of survivors of breast cancer.

Methods

Seventy-four volunteers (intervention group, n = 36; control group, n = 38) were recruited by mass email and written letter solicitation. Participants completed a series of online questionnaires measuring demographic characteristics, physical activity readiness, level of physical activity and selected SCT variables at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks. The intervention group received email messages based on SCT designed specifically for breast cancer survivors and targeting physical activity. For the first 6 weeks of the intervention, participants assigned to the intervention group received messages weekly, from weeks 7 to 12, participants received messages every other week and had access to an e-counselor. The control group did not receive email messages, nor did they have access to an e-counselor.

Results

Significant differences in levels of self-reported vigorous physical activity were found between groups at 6 and 12 weeks. Significant differences were also found for self-reported moderate physical activity at 12 weeks.

Conclusion

Email-based interventions based on SCT can significantly influence levels of self-reported physical activity of breast cancer survivors.Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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