Capturing Real-World Physical Behavior in Cancer Survivors

Real-world physical behavior is associated with aerobic fitness, but not patient-reported outcomes, in cancer survivors

VivoSense Research Scientist Shelby Bachman, PhD, presented the poster, Real-world physical behavior is associated with aerobic fitness, but not patient-reported outcomes, in cancer survivors, at the October 22, 2023, Banff 9th Annual PROMIS International Conference, a multi-disciplinary forum for learning about the use of patient-reported outcome measures in clinical care and research. Shelby’s poster presentation summarized VivoSense’s recent work examining the clinical utility of real-world digital measures in oncology. Here's a quick snapshot of the poster content.

The importance of physical function for cancer survivors

As cancer survival rates increase, maintaining health-related quality of life in cancer survivorship is a priority. Physical function, one aspect of health-related quality of life, is heavily impacted by cancer and its treatments, even years after treatment completion.

Established assessments of well-being and physical function in oncology clinical research include patient-reported, clinician reported, and performance outcome assessments. However, these assessments tend to be burdensome for patients, captured infrequently, prone to ceiling effects, and lacking in ecological validity.

The potential for wearable sensors to capture physical function

Wearable sensors such as accelerometers can capture many aspects of real-world physical behavior, including gait, physical activity and sedentary behavior, and life space mobility. These measures of real-world physical behavior captured from wearable sensors may offer insights into physical function in cancer survivorship, but their clinical utility remains to be characterized.

Examining the clinical utility of real-world digital measures in cancer survivors

In collaboration with researchers at Colorado State University, VivoSense examined how measures of real-world physical behavior, captured with wearable sensors, were related to established measures of physical function in 86 cancer survivors who had completed cancer treatment. We found that real-world physical behavior was more related to aerobic fitness than to patient-reported physical function and well-being.

These findings suggest that in cancer survivors who have completed treatment, real-world physical behavior captured with wearable sensors may provide distinct information compared to patient-reported outcomes.For holistic assessment of physical function in cancer survivorship, the use of patient-reported, performance, and real-world outcome assessments may be needed.

View the Poster

Shelby Bachman, PhD

Shelby Bachman, PhD

Shelby Bachman, PhD VivoSense Research Scientist, uses data from wearable sensors to develop real-world digital measures that can be deployed in clinical trials. Her academic background is in neuroscience and gerontology. During her PhD, she studied neural, physiological, and behavioral factors associated with successful aging. Shelby has extensive experience designing human-centered studies, collecting physiological data, and applying statistical methods to gather insights from complex datasets.

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