An app a day

  • Date:2013-05-20
  • Client:Aged Care Insight
  • Medium Used:WordPress

Internet and smartphone technology is helping women who are cancer survivors maintain wellbeing.

The Queensland University of Technology leads the Women’s Wellness After Cancer Program, which teaches self-management via internet and smartphone technology.
WWACP is one of the eleven projects that the National Health and Medical Research Institute funded with $7.9 million through its Partnerships for Better Health.

Lead investigator Professor Debra Anderson from QUT said WWACP is “a 12-week program of structured health promotion incorporating physical activity, monitoring of diet, smoking, alcohol intake, sleep and psycho-educational strategies designed to decrease risk factors associated with health behaviours in women”.
Anderson said the program includes messages on physical activity and healthy eating, goal setting planned with a registered nurse, and coaching. It also features motivational interviewing, feedback, relapse prevention and self-monitoring.

Anderson said they chose women survivors for the program because women live longer with certain cancers. “For example, 90 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer will survive at least five years; 80 per cent are still alive 20 years later,” she said.

She also noted how access is important for women who are at a geographical disadvantage. “Government health services do not currently offer post-treatment support apart from selective surveillance-type follow up,” she said, “and while not-for-profit organisations provide valuable psychological support for women, once treated for breast cancer, they rarely provide structured health promotion programs.”
She added many urban and rural women have no face-to-face programs due to constraints of cost, time, and distance.

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