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      Monitoring Energy Balance in Breast Cancer Survivors Using a Mobile App: Reliability Study

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          The majority of breast cancer survivors do not meet recommendations in terms of diet and physical activity. To address this problem, we developed a mobile health (mHealth) app for assessing and monitoring healthy lifestyles in breast cancer survivors, called the Energy Balance on Cancer (BENECA) mHealth system. The BENECA mHealth system is a novel and interactive mHealth app, which allows breast cancer survivors to engage themselves in their energy balance monitoring. BENECA was designed to facilitate adherence to healthy lifestyles in an easy and intuitive way.


          The objective of the study was to assess the concurrent validity and test-retest reliability between the BENECA mHealth system and the gold standard assessment methods for diet and physical activity.


          A reliability study was conducted with 20 breast cancer survivors. In the study, tri-axial accelerometers (ActiGraphGT3X+) were used as gold standard for 8 consecutive days, in addition to 2, 24-hour dietary recalls, 4 dietary records, and sociodemographic questionnaires. Two-way random effect intraclass correlation coefficients, a linear regression-analysis, and a Passing-Bablok regression were calculated.


          The reliability estimates were very high for all variables (alpha≥.90). The lowest reliability was found in fruit and vegetable intakes (alpha=.94). The reliability between the accelerometer and the dietary assessment instruments against the BENECA system was very high (intraclass correlation coefficient=.90). We found a mean match rate of 93.51% between instruments and a mean phantom rate of 3.35%. The Passing-Bablok regression analysis did not show considerable bias in fat percentage, portions of fruits and vegetables, or minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity.


          The BENECA mHealth app could be a new tool to measure energy balance in breast cancer survivors in a reliable and simple way. Our results support the use of this technology to not only to encourage changes in breast cancer survivors' lifestyles, but also to remotely monitor energy balance.

          Trial Registration

 NCT02817724; (Archived by WebCite at

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          Most cited references 34

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          Calibration of the Computer Science and Applications, Inc. accelerometer.

          We established accelerometer count ranges for the Computer Science and Applications, Inc. (CSA) activity monitor corresponding to commonly employed MET categories. Data were obtained from 50 adults (25 males, 25 females) during treadmill exercise at three different speeds (4.8, 6.4, and 9.7 km x h(-1)). Activity counts and steady-state oxygen consumption were highly correlated (r = 0.88), and count ranges corresponding to light, moderate, hard, and very hard intensity levels were or = 9499 cnts x min(-1), respectively. A model to predict energy expenditure from activity counts and body mass was developed using data from a random sample of 35 subjects (r2 = 0.82, SEE = 1.40 kcal x min(-1)). Cross validation with data from the remaining 15 subjects revealed no significant differences between actual and predicted energy expenditure at any treadmill speed (SEE = 0.50-1.40 kcal x min(-1)). These data provide a template on which patterns of activity can be classified into intensity levels using the CSA accelerometer.
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            Physical activity, biomarkers, and disease outcomes in cancer survivors: a systematic review.

            Cancer survivors often seek information about how lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, may influence their prognosis. We systematically reviewed studies that examined relationships between physical activity and mortality (cancer-specific and all-cause) and/or cancer biomarkers. We identified 45 articles published from January 1950 to August 2011 through MEDLINE database searches that were related to physical activity, cancer survival, and biomarkers potentially relevant to cancer survival. We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Statement to guide this review. Study characteristics, mortality outcomes, and biomarker-relevant and subgroup results were abstracted for each article that met the inclusion criteria (ie, research articles that included participants with a cancer diagnosis, mortality outcomes, and an assessment of physical activity). There was consistent evidence from 27 observational studies that physical activity is associated with reduced all-cause, breast cancer-specific, and colon cancer-specific mortality. There is currently insufficient evidence regarding the association between physical activity and mortality for survivors of other cancers. Randomized controlled trials of exercise that included biomarker endpoints suggest that exercise may result in beneficial changes in the circulating level of insulin, insulin-related pathways, inflammation, and, possibly, immunity; however, the evidence is still preliminary. Future research directions identified include the need for more observational studies on additional types of cancer with larger sample sizes; the need to examine whether the association between physical activity and mortality varies by tumor, clinical, or risk factor characteristics; and the need for research on the biological mechanisms involved in the association between physical activity and survival after a cancer diagnosis. Future randomized controlled trials of exercise with biomarker and cancer-specific disease endpoints, such as recurrence, new primary cancers, and cancer-specific mortality in cancer survivors, are warranted.
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              The Multimedia activity recall for children and adolescents (MARCA): development and evaluation

              Background Self-report recall questionnaires are commonly used to measure physical activity, energy expenditure and time use in children and adolescents. However, self-report questionnaires show low to moderate validity, mainly due to inaccuracies in recalling activity in terms of duration and intensity. Aside from recall errors, inaccuracies in estimating energy expenditure from self-report questionnaires are compounded by a lack of data on the energy cost of everyday activities in children and adolescents. This article describes the development of the Multimedia Activity Recall for Children and Adolescents (MARCA), a computer-delivered use-of-time instrument designed to address both the limitations of self-report recall questionnaires in children, and the lack of energy cost data in children. Methods The test-retest reliability of the MARCA was assessed using a sample of 32 children (aged 11.8 ± 0.7 y) who undertook the MARCA twice within 24-h. Criterion validity was assessed by comparing self-reports with accelerometer counts collected on a sample of 66 children (aged 11.6 ± 0.8 y). Content and construct validity were assessed by establishing whether data collected using the MARCA on 1429 children (aged 11.9 ± 0.8 y) exhibited relationships and trends in children's physical activity consistent with established findings from a number of previous research studies. Results Test-retest reliability was high with intra-class coefficients ranging from 0.88 to 0.94. The MARCA demonstrated criterion validity comparable to other self-report instruments with Spearman coefficients ranging from rho = 0.36 to 0.45, and provided evidence of good content and construct validity. Conclusion The MARCA is a valid and reliable self-report questionnaire, capable of a wide variety of flexible use-of-time analyses related to both physical activity and sedentary behaviour, and offers advantages over existing pen-and-paper questionnaires.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Mhealth Uhealth
                JMIR Mhealth Uhealth
                JMIR mHealth and uHealth
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                March 2018
                27 March 2018
                : 6
                : 3
                1 Department of Physical Therapy University of Granada Granada Spain
                2 Centro de Investigación Deporte y Salud University of Granada Granada Spain
                3 Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibs-Granada Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Granada University of Granada Granada Spain
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Manuel Arroyo-Morales marroyo@
                ©Mario Lozano-Lozano, Noelia Galiano-Castillo, Lydia Martín-Martín, Nicolás Pace-Bedetti, Carolina Fernández-Lao, Manuel Arroyo-Morales, Irene Cantarero-Villanueva. Originally published in JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth (, 27.03.2018.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR mhealth and uhealth, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

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