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Patient Educ Couns. 2006 Dec;64(1-3):225-34. Epub 2006 Jul 14.

Randomized pilot test of a lifestyle physical activity intervention for breast cancer survivors.

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The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, USA.



This paper will report the results of a pilot test of a 6-month, 21-session intervention to increase breast cancer survivors' physical activity by teaching them to incorporate short periods of moderate activity into their daily routines (lifestyle intervention). The effect of the intervention on physical performance, quality of life, and physical activity are reported.


Sixty breast cancer survivors were randomized to either a lifestyle intervention or a standard care control group. Physical performance, quality of life (Medical outcomes study short form-36 [SF-36]), and physical activity (7-day recall and motivation readiness), were assessed at baseline and 6 months.


The lifestyle group had significantly better performance in the 6-min walk task than the controls (p=0.005) at 6 months. The intervention had positive effects on the bodily pain (p=0.020) and general health (p=0.006) subscales from the SF-36. The lifestyle group had a greater motivational readiness for physical activity at 6-month than standard care, but no significant differences were seen between the two in terms of number of minutes of moderate or more intense physical activity or number of days on which they did > or =30 min of moderate or more intense activity.


Despite the small sample size, the lifestyle intervention showed promise for improving physical functioning and quality of life and increasing physical activity, and should be tested in a larger randomized trial.


If the lifestyle approach is shown to be effective in a larger trial, it represents a highly feasible intervention that it can be delivered to cancer survivors by health care institutions or community organizations without dedicated exercise facilities and equipment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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