Master thesis research from Karolinska Institute looks at the first results of the REBECCA mobile app use
The Master thesis titled ‘Differences in the Use Characteristics of a Mobile App to Assess Dietary Behavior and Physical Activity Lifestyle Parameters in Two Different Age Groups of Breast Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Cross-Sectional Study’, authored by Ms Zahra Ataei Kachouei, a student at the Master´s Programme in Nutrition at Karolinska Institute, looks at the first available results of the REBECCA mobile app use and user evaluation for the first week of data collection.
The REBECCA mobile app is a central Real-World Data collection tool of the REBECCA. The app is one of the integral components of the REBECCA 360º platform, designed to support detailed and continuous monitoring of cancer patients. The mobile app will be used by breast cancer patients in the REBECCA clinical studies. To ensure input from the target group, Amazona, a breast cancer association based in Stockholm, together with Karolinska Institute, organised a pilot study for evaluating the use of the REBECCA mobile app by patients during real-life use. In parallel Amazona hosted thematic workshops and sent out a questionnaire to its members, complementing the preliminary round of data collection in the REBECCA project.
The primary aim of the thesis research was to compare the use characteristics of the REBECCA mobile app between younger (<60 years old) and older (>60 years old) breast cancer patients. A total of 24 breast cancer survivors were enrolled in the research, with 12 participants in each group.
The primary research outcome was the evaluation of the frequency of the REBECCA app usage, measured through the app logging mechanisms for a week. The data on the patient-reported experiences for the use of the REBECCA app, a secondary outcome, was analysed with the system usability scale and user experience questionnaires, together with semi-structured interviews with all the participating patients. The research also looked at the most and least liked features of the REBECCA app, as indicated by the patients themselves.
The study concluded that users interacted with the REBECCA app quite often and these interactions did not diminish in time. Additionally, no statistically significant difference between younger and older patients regarding the REBECCA app usage and its perceived user experience were observed. This speaks to the suitability of the REBECCA app for use across all ages. Specifically, participants liked several app features, such as ease of use, built-in camera function, and the app’s simplicity. Finally, the highlighted areas that should be further improved were the annotation choices when registering food and stressors, and the presentation of stored data.