Maintenance of physical activity in breast cancer survivors after a randomized trial

Jeffrey K. Vallance, Kerry S. Courneya, Ronald C. Plotnikoff, Irina Dinu, John R. MacKey

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the longer-term effects of pedometers and print materials on changes in physical activity (PA) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in breast cancer survivors who participated in a 3-month behavior change intervention. METHODS: Breast cancer survivors (N = 377) were randomly assigned to receive either (a) a standard public health recommendation for PA (SR), (b) previously developed breast cancer-specific PA print materials (PM), (c) a step pedometer (PED), or (d) a combination of the two (COM). The primary endpoint was self-reported moderate/vigorous PA minutes per week at 6-month follow-up after the initial 3-month intervention period. RESULTS: Seventy-one percent (266/377) of participants completed the 6-month follow-up assessment. According to intention-to-treat linear mixed-model analyses, self-reported moderate to vigorous PA increased by 9 min·wk in the SR group compared with 39 min·wk in the PM group (mean difference = 30 min·wk; 95% CI = -44 to 104; P = 0.425), 69 min·wk in the PED group (mean difference = 60 min·wk; 95% CI = -13 to 132; P = 0.107), and 56 min·wk in the COM group (mean difference = 47 min·wk; 95% CI = -26 to 119; P = 0.210). The same pattern was observed for self-reported, brisk walking. No differences were found for HRQoL or fatigue. CONCLUSION(S): Breast cancer-specific PM and PED did not maintain significantly higher PA or HRQoL at 6-month follow-up in breast cancer survivors, but the magnitude of the effect on PA (30-60 min·wk) was consistent with the immediate postintervention effect observed at the 3-month postintervention time point. Issues of power resulting from additional loss to follow-up may account for the failure to achieve statistical significance. Additional research with larger sample sizes and more complete follow-up is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan. 2008


  • Health promotion
  • Pedometers
  • Physical activity behavior
  • Quality of life


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