Effects of a wearable technology-based physical activity intervention on sleep quality in breast cancer survivors: the ACTIVATE Trial

Nga H. Nguyen, Jeff K. Vallance, Matthew P. Buman, Melissa M. Moore, Marina M. Reeves, Dori E. Rosenberg, Terry Boyle, Shakira Milton, Christine M. Friedenreich, Dallas R. English, Brigid M. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Physical activity interventions can improve sleep quality in breast cancer survivors. This paper examines the effects of the ACTIVATE Trial, a wearable-based physical activity intervention (Garmin Vivofit2® coupled with behavioral feedback, goal setting, and health coaching) on sleep outcomes. Methods: Post-primary treatment, inactive, postmenopausal breast cancer survivors were recruited and randomized to primary intervention or waitlist. Wrist-worn actigraphy (sleep onset latency, SOL; total sleep time, TST; sleep efficiency, SE; wake after sleep onset, WASO; and number of awakenings, NWAKE) and questionnaire-derived sleep measures (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) were assessed at baseline (T1), 12 weeks (end of primary intervention and start of waitlist intervention, T2), and at 24 weeks (T3). Results: Eighty-three women (mean age = 62 years) were randomized; trial retention was 94% at T2 and 87% at T3. At T2, primary intervention participants had greater improvements in WASO (− 5.7 min, 95% CI − 11.7 to − 0.2) and NWAKE compared with the waitlist arm (− 2.0, 95% CI − 3.6 to − 0.4). At T3, within-group improvements were observed for SE (both groups), WASO (both groups), NWAKE (primary intervention group only), total PSQI score (primary intervention group), and sleep efficacy (primary intervention group). Conclusions: The intervention reduced actigraphy-measured sleep disturbances. Within-group analyses suggest that improvements in sleep quality are sustained over a longer duration, and there may be similar benefits from an abridged intervention (wearable device only). Actigraphy-measured effects appeared stronger in participants who were poor sleepers at study entry. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Wearable technology can increase physical activity and improve sleep for breast cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr. 2021


  • Accelerometry
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Fitness trackers
  • Physical activity
  • Sleep
  • Survivorship


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