Impact of a telephone-based physical activity intervention upon exercise behaviors and fitness in cancer survivors enrolled in a cooperative group setting

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Feb;132(1):205-13. doi: 10.1007/s10549-011-1882-7. Epub 2011 Nov 24.


Observational studies demonstrate an association between physical activity and improved outcomes in breast and colon cancer survivors. To test these observations with a large, randomized clinical trial, an intervention that significantly impacts physical activity in these patients is needed. The Active After Cancer Trial (AACT) was a multicenter pilot study evaluating the feasibility of a telephone-based exercise intervention in a cooperative group setting. Sedentary (engaging in <60 min of recreational activity/week) breast and colorectal cancer survivors were randomized to a telephone-based exercise intervention or usual care control group. The intervention was delivered through the University of California at San Diego; participants received ten phone calls over the course of the 16-week intervention. All participants underwent assessment of physical activity, fitness, physical functioning, fatigue and exercise self-efficacy at baseline and after the 16-week intervention. One hundred and twenty-one patients were enrolled through ten Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) institutions; 100 patients had breast cancer and 21 had colorectal cancer. Participants randomized to the exercise group increased physical activity by more than 100 versus 22% in controls (54.5 vs. 14.6 min, P = 0.13), and experienced significant increases in fitness (increased 6-min walk test distance by 186.9 vs. 81.9 feet, P = 0.006) and physical functioning (7.1 vs. 2.6, P = 0.04) as compared to the control group. Breast and colorectal cancer survivors enrolled in a multicenter, telephone-based physical activity intervention increased physical activity and experienced significant improvements in fitness and physical functioning. Lifestyle intervention research is feasible in a cooperative group setting.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors*
  • Telephone*
  • Treatment Outcome