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Using an E-Health Intervention to Promote the Health of Cancer Survivors With Preexisting Disabling Conditions


CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: March 2013 - Volume 31 - Issue 3 - p 107–114
doi: 10.1097/NXN.0b013e3182771895
Feature Article

Although there has been research on the use of e-health for cancer patients and those living with disabilities, no interventions focus on cancer survivors who had a disabling condition prior to their cancer. Therefore, we developed and piloted the feasibility of the online health-promotion program LiveAble. Based on a theoretically driven health-promotion program previously shown to be effective among people with various chronic conditions, LiveAble was adapted to be an e-heath intervention for cancer survivors with preexisting disabilities. Eleven cancer survivors reviewed LiveAble and provided feedback. The participants’ average age was 54 years. Most had neuromuscular impairments prior to their cancer; about half were breast cancer survivors. Average scores on the Self-efficacy for Health Practices Scale increased. Participants rated LiveAble useful, attractively presented, and relevant to people with disabilities. Their feedback also suggested areas for change, such as a system that was easier to navigate and more individualized. Only 51% of these participants agreed that LiveAble motivated them to take action to improve their health. To turn information into action, participants may need additional assistance and encouragement. Although preliminary results were promising, future efforts should determine the efficacy of LiveAble with larger and more diverse groups of survivors.

Author Affiliations: School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin.

This study was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute R21CA133381.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Heather Becker, PhD, School of Nursing, 1700 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701 (

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.