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J Cancer Surviv. 2014 Mar;8(1):31-8. doi: 10.1007/s11764-013-0307-5. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

African-American breast cancer survivors' preferences for various types of physical activity interventions: a Sisters Network Inc. web-based survey.

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  • 1Department of Behavioral and Community Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX, 76017, USA,



Needs assessments are essential to developing lifestyle interventions for minority populations. To our knowledge, no physical activity (PA) needs assessment studies have been conducted for African-American (AA) breast cancer survivors. The purpose of this study was to determine the PA intervention preferences of AA breast cancer survivors and determine whether these preferences differ according to medical and sociodemographic factors.


AA breast cancer survivors (n = 475, mean age = 54 years) were recruited using ads sent via email and social media sites. Preferences for the mode of intervention delivery were assessed via web-based questionnaires. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize their interests in PA interventions, and subgroup differences were assessed.


About 49 % (142 out of 291) of the participants who completed the survey were obese and 54 % did not meet the recommended guidelines for PA. Most (90 %) participants reported that they could participate in PA, and many (67 %) indicated that they were interested in receiving program materials. Participants expressed the greatest interest in email (50 %)-, web (48 %)-, or mail-based (45 %) over group (39 %), and telephone (10 %). Women also expressed the greatest interest in participating in studies that promoted walking and resistance or strength training. Intervention preferences did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) across sociodemographic or medical factors.


Most AA breast cancer survivors can participate in PA, and many are interested in interventions that promoted walking and resistance training and were delivered via the email or web. The development of culturally sensitive interventions that provide activities consistent with preferences can assist AA breast cancer survivors to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Despite evidence that AA breast cancer survivors are at increased risk for poor breast cancer-specific outcomes, they are underrepresented in clinical trials promoting positive health behaviors. In this study, we propose to assess their exercise preferences and receptivity to a culturally appropriate PA intervention developed in collaboration with the Sisters Network Inc. Health promotion programs developed in collaboration with a community-based organization may aid in the development of research tools and resources that AA breast cancer survivors are receptive to using.

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