A text message intervention to support women's physical and mental health after breast cancer treatments (EMPOWER-SMS): A randomised controlled trial protocol

A Singleton, S R Partridge, R Raeside, M Regimbal, K K Hyun, C K Chow, K Sherman, E Elder, J Redfern*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women worldwide. In developed countries, 80-90% of women will survive five years after diagnosis but the transition from hospital-based care to health self-management and self-efficacy can be difficult. Text messaging programs offer a simple and proven way to provide support to people with chronic diseases. This study aims to test the effectiveness of a text message support program at improving women's health self-efficacy, and physical and mental health outcomes after breast cancer treatments compared to usual care at 6-months and to understand the barriers and enablers to widespread implementation.

METHODS: Single-blind randomised control trial (RCT; N = 160) comparing a text message support intervention to usual care in women with breast cancer (recruited from a large tertiary referral hospital in Sydney, Australia). The intervention group will receive a six-month text message support program, which consists of semi-personalised, supportive, lifestyle-focused text messages (4 messages/week) in addition to usual care. The control group will receive usual care without the text message program. Outcomes will be assessed at 6-months. The primary outcome is change in self-efficacy for managing chronic disease. Secondary outcomes include change in clinical outcomes (body mass index), lifestyle outcomes (physical activity levels, dietary behaviours), mood (depression and anxiety scales), quality of life, satisfaction with, and usefulness of the intervention. Analyses will be performed on the principle of intention-to-treat to examine differences between intervention and control groups.

DISCUSSION: This study will test if a scalable and cost-effective text-messaging intervention is effective at improving women's health self-efficacy, as well as physical and mental health outcomes. Moreover, this study will provide essential preliminary data to bolster a large multicentre RCT to helpsupport breast cancer survivors throughout recovery and beyond.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) number ACTRN12618002020268 , 17 December 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Article number660
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


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