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08.09.2016 | Ausgabe 1/2017

Journal of Cancer Survivorship 1/2017

Preventing weight gain in African American breast cancer survivors using smart scales and activity trackers: a randomized controlled pilot study

Journal of Cancer Survivorship > Ausgabe 1/2017
Carmina G. Valle, Allison M. Deal, Deborah F. Tate



This study evaluated the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of two 6-month, self-regulation interventions that focused on daily self-weighing (DSW) and used objective monitoring and tailored feedback about weight (±activity), to prevent weight gain among African American breast cancer survivors.


Participants (n = 35) were randomized to an intervention + activity monitoring (INT+), intervention (INT), or control (CON) group. Interventions included a wireless scale (±activity tracker) that transmitted objective data to a mobile app/website, emailed lessons, and tailored feedback based on objective weight (±activity data). Participants completed in-person and online assessments at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months.


Ninety-four percent of participants completed assessments at 3 months, and 97 % at 6 months. Median (IQR) weight change after 6 months was −0.9 % (−4.4–0.1) in the INT+ (p = 0.075; p = 0.067 vs. CON) and −0.2 % (−4.2–1.3) in the INT groups (p = 0.463; p = 0.357 vs. CON), versus a 0.2 % (−0.7–1.7) gain in the CON group. The proportion of INT+, INT, and CON participants that were at or below baseline weight was 72.7, 53.8, and 45.5 %, respectively (effect sizes d = 0.64, d = 0.18). Most INT+ participants weighed and wore trackers ≥5 days/week (INT+, 81.9 % vs. INT, 38.5 % vs. CON, 0 %; p < 0.0005; INT+, 72.7 %). Both intervention groups perceived DSW as positive, and 100 % would recommend the program to other breast cancer survivors.


An intervention focused on DSW as a self-monitoring strategy shows promise for preventing weight gain in breast cancer survivors.

Implications for cancer survivors

Daily self-monitoring of weight and activity may be a feasible and accessible approach to promote weight gain prevention in breast cancer survivors.

Clinical trial registration, NCT02030353

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