Purpose: This study aimed to characterize physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) profiles in older gastrointestinal (GI) cancer survivors, assess their interest in interventions to modify these behaviors, and evaluate the acceptability of digital tools for delivering interventions to modify these behaviors. Methods: Survivors (M = 65 years) from an outpatient survivorship clinic at the Penn State Cancer Institute completed a questionnaire during a clinic appointment. Results: Most survivors failed to attain the recommended level of PA (79%) or exceeded an average of 8 h of daily SB (42%). Access to internet and text messaging capabilities were high (70%), yet few survivors had access to smartphones or tablets (< 40%) or reported interest in using digital tools to improve PA or reduce SB (< 30%). Digital PA and SB interventions were more acceptable to younger survivors, survivors reporting more SB, and survivors engaging in more PA. The monetary value ascribed to digital health interventions did not differ as a function of mode of delivery (i.e., text messages, web, e-mail, tablet computer apps, or smartphone apps). Conclusions: Older GI cancer survivors can benefit from interventions to increase PA and decrease SB. Interest in such interventions was moderate and the acceptability of digital health tools for these interventions was limited. At the present time, behavioral interventions for older GI cancer survivors should not be delivered exclusively through digital tools and strategies to improve adoption of various technologies should be implemented when using these tools to modify PA and SB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-708
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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