Acceptability and utility of, and preference for wearable activity trackers amongst non-metropolitan cancer survivors

Sarah J Hardcastle, Maddison Galliott, Brigid M Lynch, Nga H Nguyen, Paul A Cohen, Ganendra Raj Mohan, Niloufer J Johansen, Christobel Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: The study purpose was to investigate the acceptability and utility of, and preference for, wearable activity trackers (WATs) amongst cancer survivors living in regional and remote areas of Western Australia.

METHODS: Twenty participants were recruited (Mean age = 63 years, SD = 13) to test two to three trackers from five available models (Fitbit Alta, Garmin Vivofit 2, Garmin Vivosmart, Polar loop 2 and Polar A300). Participants wore each device for two weeks, followed by a one-week washout period between devices. Interviews were conducted with participants to explore user perceptions and experiences. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Four main themes emerged: (i) Consciousness raising; (ii) Prompts and Feedback; (iii) Accuracy and registry of activities; and, (iv) WAT preferences and features.

CONCLUSIONS: WATs were acceptable and useful to cancer survivors. WATs increased self-awareness of physical activity, provided real time feedback in relation to step goals, and reinforced progress and efforts towards goals. The aesthetics of the WATs were deemed crucial in determining preference and likelihood of use.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Future interventions may do well to have two different WATs available for participants to choose from, according to activity preferences, aesthetic preferences, and display size.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0210039
Pages (from-to)e0210039
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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