A randomized controlled trial of a multiple health behavior change intervention delivered to colorectal cancer survivors: effects on sedentary behavior

Cancer. 2014 Sep 1;120(17):2665-72. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28773. Epub 2014 May 9.


Background: Sedentary behavior may independently contribute to morbidity and mortality among survivors of colorectal cancer. In the current study, the authors assessed whether a telephone-delivered multiple health behavior change intervention had an effect on the sedentary behavior of recently diagnosed colorectal cancer survivors.

Methods: A total of 410 participants were recruited through the Queensland Cancer Registry and randomized to the health coaching (intervention) or usual-care (control) group. Eleven health coaching sessions addressing multiple health behaviors, including sedentary behavior, were delivered over a period of 6 months. Data were collected at baseline (before randomization), at 6 months, and at 12 months via a telephone interview.

Results: At 12 months, there was a significant decrease noted in the hours per day of sedentary time in both the health coaching (-1.21; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], -1.71 to -0.70) and usual-care groups (-0.55; 95% CI, -1.06 to -0.05), but the between-group difference was not found to be statistically significant (-0.65; 95% CI, -1.37 to 0.06 [P = .07]). In stratified subgroup analyses, the multiple health behavior change intervention was found to have a significant effect on total sedentary time (hours/day) at 12 months in survivors of colorectal cancer who were aged > 60 years (-0.90; 95% CI, -1.80 to -0.01 [P = .05]), male (-1.33; 95% CI, -2.44 to -0.21 [P = .02]), and nonobese (-1.10; 95% CI, -1.96 to -0.25; [P = .01]).

Conclusions: Incorporating simple messages about limiting sedentary behaviors into a multiple health behavior change intervention was found to have modest effects on sedentary behavior. A sedentary behavior-specific intervention strategy may be required to achieve substantial changes in sedentary behavior among colorectal cancer survivors.

Keywords: cancer survivorship; colorectal cancer; randomized controlled trial; sitting time; television.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Survivors
  • Telephone