cancer diagnosis, health wearables, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, obesity, weight management


Wearable health technology (WHT) has been suggested as a health intervention in preventing or reducing health risk factors in clinical populations. Cancer survivors exhibit risk factors prior to cancer diagnosis and acquire comorbidities as a result of their treatment. These conditions may increase likelihood of cancer recurrence and reduce quality of life by inhibiting survivors’ physiological function and predisposing them to other maladies. Several studies have suggested WHTs as an intervention in mitigating these risks. However, there lacks a comprehensive review of the current evidence to determine the efficacy of WHT interventions. Thus, a literature search of WHT studies within cancer survivors was conducted and a meta-analysis was performed on the four most commonly reported health outcomes, namely weight, step count, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time. A meta-analysis was performed to determine if positive or negative effects between WHT and these outcomes exist and what the effect sizes were. Twelve papers met inclusion criteria. Of the ten studies that measured MVPA, a moderate positive effect was found between WHT interventions and weekly MVPA. Five studies measured average daily step count and from this, a weak positive effect was found between WHT interventions and step count increase. Five studies measured sedentary time and revealed a weakly positive correlation between WHT use and increased sedentary time, though this data was unreliable. Lastly, three studies measured weight and revealed a weak negative effect between WHT use and weight, however, this was also limited due to the small sample. Thus, this review validates the use of WHT to improve MVPA and possibly step count in cancer survivors while it appears WHTs have a lesser impact on weight and potentially an opposite effect on sedentary time.