Home-based physical activity intervention for colorectal cancer survivors

Psychooncology. 2013 Jan;22(1):54-64. doi: 10.1002/pon.2047. Epub 2011 Sep 9.


Background: The efficacy of a home-based physical activity (PA) intervention for colorectal cancer patients versus contact control was evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.

Methods: Forty-six patients (mean age = 57.3 years [SD = 9.7], 57% female, mean = 2.99 years post-diagnosis [SD = 1.64]) who had completed treatment for stages 1-3 colorectal cancer were randomized to telephone counseling to support PA (PA group, n = 20) or contact control (control group, n = 26). PA group participants received 3 months of PA counseling (based on the transtheoretical model and the social cognitive theory) delivered via telephone, as well as weekly PA tip sheets. Assessments of PA (Seven-day Physical Activity Recall [7-day PAR] and Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors [CHAMPS]), submaximal aerobic fitness (Treadwalk test), motivational readiness for PA, and psychosocial outcomes were conducted at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months post-baseline. Objective accelerometer data were collected at the same time points.

Results: The PA group reported significant increases in minutes of PA at 3 months (7-day PAR) and caloric expenditure (CHAMPS) compared with the control group, but the group differences were attenuated over time. The PA group showed significant improvements in fitness at 3, 6, and 12 months versus the control group. Improvements in motivational readiness for PA were reported in the PA group only at 3 months. No significant group differences were found for fatigue, self-reported physical functioning, and quality of life at 3, 6, and 12 months.

Conclusion: A home-based intervention improved survivors' PA and motivational readiness at 3 months and increased submaximal aerobic fitness at 3, 6, and 12 months.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Counseling
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Motor Activity
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physical Fitness
  • Quality of Life
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Support
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Telephone
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome