Revolutionizing Cancer Survivorship: The Power of Digital Physical Activity Referrals
Physical activity is a powerful tool for enhancing the health and quality of life of cancer survivors. However, integrating physical activity referrals into clinical systems has been a challenge. Enter ActivityChoice, a pioneering program that uses electronic referrals (eReferrals) to connect cancer survivors with physical activity programs that suit their preferences.
ActivityChoice was developed and tested in two phases. In the first phase, interviews were conducted with Cancer Center clinicians and leaders of cancer-focused physical activity programs to understand how to adapt an existing eReferral system to this new context. The second phase involved pilot-testing the system with clinicians delivering referrals to survivors in two 12-week cycles. The results were promising: a significant number of clinicians adopted ActivityChoice, and many patients were referred and enrolled in physical activity programs.
The program includes a secure webform for referrals, text message or email confirmations, clinician training sessions, visual reminders, and options for in-person or virtual group physical activity programs. Both clinicians and patients appreciated the referral system and the choices it offered. The addition of a printed handout describing the programs led to more referrals, indicating that further support in the clinic workflow could facilitate more referrals.