Digital Lifestyle Intervention in Rehabilitation Aftercare

Development and evaluation of a mobile application focusing on physical activity, nutrition, and breathing/relaxation to promote health-related quality of life in lung cancer survivors.



Lung cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in Switzerland. Lung cancer survivors suffer from reduced physical and psychological functioning as well as decreased overall health-related quality of life (HRQoL) due to cancer symptoms, cancer treatments, and comorbidities. HRQoL can be positively influenced by physical activity, adequate nutrition, and breathing/relaxation exercises. Frequently, there is insufficient support for integrating a healthy lifestyle into everyday life after discharge from rehabilitation. Through digitalization, new opportunities arise that can encourage cancer survivors to take responsibility for their health and lifestyle, thereby enhancing their quality of life. However, digital solutions lack target group-specific designs and combinations of several health-enhancing factors (synergistic effects).

Course of action

Within the present project, a mobile application (app) for lung cancer survivors following inpatient rehabilitation was developed. The main foci of the app are physical activity, nutrition, and breathing/relaxation. The development process followed a participatory approach (co-creation). The effectiveness of the app is examined in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Lung cancer survivors of different Swiss rehabilitation centers are randomly allocated to the intervention or control group. The intervention group uses the app for 12 weeks. The control group will receive standard care only. The primary outcome is HRQoL. Secondary outcomes include physical activity, appetite, risk of low protein intake, psychological distress, and cancer-related fatigue. In the intervention group, additional implementation-related factors such as the usability of the app, experiences with the intervention, and acceptability of the intervention are investigated.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 3: Good health and well-being