Category: Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine - Child


A Mobile App to Enhance Self-Management of Adolescent and Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer

Saturday, November 18
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom B, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Technology / Mobile Health | Treatment Development | Implementation
Presentation Type: Symposium

Despite cure, survivors of childhood cancer face significant psychological and physical challenges, including long-term treatment-related morbidities that can be life-threatening.

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) survivors of childhood cancer are particularly at risk for poor adjustment and health. They have suboptimal engagement in follow-up care, health-promoting behaviors, and knowledge regarding health promotion, cancer history, and late effects of treatment. AYA STEPS (AYA Self-Management via Texting, Education, & Plans for Survivorship) is a mobile app that aims to improve survivorship self-management, especially uptake of health care recommendations via survivorship care plans (SCP). AYA STEPS represents a modification of the LSTCare self-management app, which was adapted to best serve AYA survivors using CBT approaches including psychoeducation, goal setting, cognitive strategies (e.g., reframing, normalizing), behavioral strategies (e.g., relaxation, stress reduction, behavioral activation), and positive reinforcement. It includes a personalized SCP, tailored daily text messages for 16 weeks to inform and teach strategies, a medication list, calendar of medical appointments, and nutrition and exercise trackers. Text message tailoring reflects recommendations from an established SCP (, age, selected health goal, and time off treatment. Gamification features include earning incentive points by responding to text messages. The app and the text bank were tested via qualitative interviews. AYA STEPS is now being tested in a randomized controlled trial, whereby 210 AYA (ages 15-29) will receive a SCP alone or a SCP with the app. We expect that those receiving the app will report better adherence to their SCPs (e.g., health behaviors, attendance at appointments) as well as improved quality of life. Data on enrollment to date, including baseline characteristics of the sample and selected health goals, feasibility, acceptability, and initial efficacy of the app will be presented. We anticipate that AYA STEPS will demonstrate initial feasibility and acceptability and may be a promising intervention for improving self-management among AYA survivors. 





Lisa Schwartz

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania


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A Mobile App to Enhance Self-Management of Adolescent and Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer

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