My first full week back after the fourth of July felt like a long one! Fortunately, this was just what I needed to get everything with my project finalized to launch next week. I will be collecting data over these next few weeks and then analyzing the results of my interviews and surveys at the end of August.
I spent much of my time this week programming the screening, consent, and survey into Redcap, Northwestern’s online research database. It was a big learning curve for me over these past few months to not only learn how to use the database, but how to write simple code for the surveys and forms I needed to create. I was so proud when at the end of the week my twenty page form was complete and functional with its layers of branching logic. With final approval from Dr. Phillips, it should be participant-ready and we can use it to start recruiting at the beginning of next week!
This was also the first week of the Fit2Thrive intervention, so our study participants were all making progress towards their goal of 30 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity. One of the highlights of the week was serving as an exercise coach to the breast cancer survivors. Half of our participants are scheduled to receive biweekly coaching calls from the study team (that’s me! And my coworkers) where we review their progress and offer suggestions and words of motivation for the coming weeks. I wrote the scripts for these calls back in the spring, and so it is fulfilling to see my work come to fruition. It is heartwarming to take these few brief minutes in the day to check in on our participants individually. I am learning so much about how to motivate others and form long-term relationships with them, and these are skills that will translate well into my practice of medicine one day.
I can’t wait to share more updates with you next week about my first interviews!