Acceptability and utility of, and preference for wearable activity trackers amongst non-metropolitan cancer survivors
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© 2018 Hardcastle et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. 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.
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