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Axillary treatment for breast cancer is often associated with arm and shoulder problems such as decreased function and strength and pain. Early postoperative exercise is proven to be a safe and effective intervention to reduce these problems. Advice on postoperative exercises is routinely given in breast clinics, but adherence to the exercises at home is sub-optimal and supervised exercise-programs are usually not available.

Mobile health (mHealth) applications (apps) for smartphones and tablet computers are a rapidly growing trend in healthcare and a promising new strategy for health behaviour changes. A recent review of smartphone breast disease applications identified 139 breast cancer apps, mainly educational or self-assessment tools or aimed at raising awareness. However, the lack of user-centred and evidence-based designs and limited healthcare professional involvement during the app development is concerning.

In this pilot study we developed and designed a prototype app (bWell) for smartphones and tablets to support self-management of arm and shoulder exercises for those affected by breast cancer. The app was developed together with breast cancer patients and health care professionals. bWell is a complete, mobile resource for people with breast cancer and a step-by-step guide on how to perform the arm and shoulder exercises. The app was tested in a small group of patients with breast cancer. An application to fund a large randomised controlled trial into the benefits of mHealth during the recovery of breast cancer treatment is currently under review.

Poster - PDF document of bwell app  poster The development of a mobile application for self-management of arm and shoulder exercises after breast cancer treatment - presented at European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-10 9-11 March 2016)

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Filming the App at Sussex University ...

filming the arm exercises for the app filming the arm exercises for the app filming the arm exercises for the app filming the arm exercises for the app

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Screenshots from the app ...

Exercise sessions ...

Follow your progress ...

Reminders and Information ...

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