Self-guided technology to improve health-related behaviour and quality of life in people with cancer

McCracken, Alison, Harrison, Joanna orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8963-7240 and Hill, James Edward orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1430-6927 (2021) Self-guided technology to improve health-related behaviour and quality of life in people with cancer. British Journal of Community Nursing, 26 (9). ISSN 1462-4753

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Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world, and both the disease and its treatments result in reduced health-related quality of life (World Health Organization (WHO), 2020; Mishra et al, 2012). Cancer survivors are at increased risk of multiple chronic illnesses and the long-term effects of treatment such as fatigue, depression, weight loss/gain and pain (James et al, 2011). Health-related quality of life among people living with, or after, cancer can be improved through nutrition and exercise interventions, and these interventions may also improve survival (Albino de Queiroz et al, 2021; Mishra et al, 2012). There is emerging evidence that these interventions may also help to counter cancer-related bone and muscle loss (Kiss et al, 2020). Delivering these interventions by traditional face-to-face methods may not be feasible when meeting the increasing incidence of cancer patients globally (Duan et al, 2021). Therefore, there is a need to consider alternative modes of delivery to achieve increased access and reduce healthcare system burden. Kiss et al (2019) proposed that technology-supported interventions, such as those delivered over the internet, mobile phone or wearable devices, could offer self-guided support in nutrition and physical activity to more of the world's 32 million people living with cancer. Their systematic review aimed to describe and appraise the efficacy of such interventions for people with cancer. This commentary aims to critically appraise the methods used within this systematic review to discuss the findings in the context of previous evidence and clinical practice.

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