Impact of two nurse-led interventions targeting diet among breast cancer survivors: Results from a randomized controlled trial

Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2018 Jul;27(4):e12854. doi: 10.1111/ecc.12854. Epub 2018 May 4.


Breast cancer is the most common neoplasm among women worldwide. Improvements in early detection and treatment have resulted in improved survival rates; however, the continuation of unhealthy behaviours after diagnosis can increase the risk of second primary tumours. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two nurse-led health education interventions aiming at improving dietary behaviours among women diagnosed with breast cancer. Participants (n = 492) were included in a double-blind randomized controlled trial with three arms: a control group received usual care; women in the first intervention group received a booklet containing dietary advice; women in the second intervention group received the same booklet plus a tailored telephone intervention delivered by a trained nurse. One year after the intervention, women in both intervention groups were more likely to adhere to the recommendation of decreasing the consumption of animal fats compared with the control group (OR:5.0; 95% CI:1.5-16.9 and OR:6.6; 95% CI:2.0-22.6, respectively). Moreover, compared with the control group, the adjusted probability of eating the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables was higher in the second intervention group (OR:2.7; 95% CI:1.4-5.3). In summary, the booklet containing dietary advice for breast cancer survivors, either alone or supplemented with a nurse-led telephone intervention, was effective in promoting adherence to diet recommendations.

Keywords: breast cancer; diet; health promotion; randomized controlled trials; stages of change; survivors.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / nursing*
  • Cancer Survivors*
  • Diet Therapy*
  • Dietary Fats
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pamphlets
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Practice Patterns, Nurses'*
  • Vegetables


  • Dietary Fats