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J Clin Oncol. 2005 May 20;23(15):3577-87.

Home-based physical activity intervention for breast cancer patients.

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  • 1Center for Behavioral Medicine, The Miriam Hospital and Brown Medical School, Coro Bldg, Ste 500, One Hoppin St, Providence, RI 02903, USA.



The efficacy of a home-based physical activity (PA) intervention for early-stage breast cancer patients was evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.


Eighty-six sedentary women (mean age, 53.14 years; standard deviation, 9.70 years) who had completed treatment for stage 0 to II breast cancer were randomly assigned to a PA or contact control group. Participants in the PA group received 12 weeks of PA counseling (based on the Transtheoretical Model) delivered via telephone, as well as weekly exercise tip sheets. Assessments were conducted at baseline, after treatment (12 weeks), and 6 and 9 month after baseline follow-ups. The post-treatment outcomes are reported here.


Analyses showed that, after treatment, the PA group reported significantly more total minutes of PA, more minutes of moderate-intensity PA, and higher energy expenditure per week than controls. The PA group also out-performed controls on a field test of fitness. Changes in PA were not reflected in objective activity monitoring. The PA group was more likely than controls to progress in motivational readiness for PA and to meet PA guidelines. No significant group differences were found in body mass index and percent body fat. Post-treatment group comparisons revealed significant improvements in vigor and a reduction in fatigue in the PA group. There was a positive trend in intervention effects on overall mood and body esteem.


The intervention successfully increased PA and improved fitness and specific aspects of psychological well-being among early-stage breast cancer patients. The success of a home-based PA intervention has important implications for promoting recovery in this population.

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