Purpose: To determine the effects of breast cancer-specific print materials and step pedometers on physical activity (PA) and quality of life (QoL) in breast cancer survivors.
Patients and methods: Breast cancer survivors (N = 377) were randomly assigned to receive one of the following: a standard public health recommendation for PA, previously developed breast cancer-specific PA print materials, a step pedometer, or a combination of breast cancer-specific print materials and step pedometers. The primary outcome was self-reported moderate/vigorous PA minutes per week. Secondary outcomes were QoL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast), fatigue, self-reported brisk walking, and objective step counts. Assessments were conducted at baseline and postintervention (12 weeks).
Results: Attrition was 10.3% (39 of 377). On the basis of linear mixed-model analyses, PA increased by 30 minutes/week in the standard recommendation group compared with 70 minutes/week in the print material group (mean difference, 39 minutes/week; 95% CI = -10 to 89; d = 0.25; P = .117), 89 minutes/week in the pedometer group (mean difference, 59 minutes/week; 95% CI, 11 to 108; d = 0.38; P = .017), and 87 minutes/week in the combined group (mean difference, 57 minutes/week; 95% CI, 8 to 106; d = 0.37; P = .022). For brisk walking minutes/week, all three intervention groups reported significantly greater increases than the standard recommendation group. The combined group also reported significantly improved QoL (mean difference, 5.8; 95% CI, 2.0 to 9.6; d = 0.33; P = .003) and reduced fatigue (mean difference, 2.3; 95% CI, 0.0 to 4.7; d = 0.25; P = .052) compared with the standard recommendation group.
Conclusion: Breast cancer-specific PA print materials and pedometers may be effective strategies for increasing PA and QoL in breast cancer survivors. A combined approach appears to be optimal.
Clinical trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT00221221