University Cancer Research Fund
2011 Health-e-NC (H-e-NC) Pilot Projects
P.I.: Claudio Battaglini (co-PI), Denise Spector (co-PI)
Department: Exercise and Sports Science; Nutrition
Geographic Area(s): Orange and Wake Counties
Title: A Home-based Motivational Exercise Program for African American Breast Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study


Purpose/Specific Aims The primary aim is to evaluate feasibility of a motivational 16 week home-based exercise intervention among secondary African American breast cancer survivors. Secondary aims include the examination of changes in physical activity levels and how these changes effect body composition and quality of life, in addition to other physiologic measures including cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and fatigue.

Rationale/Significance of Study Physical inactivity in breast cancer survivors is associated with poor physical and psychological outcomes, including weight gain. Physical inactivity and negative changes in body composition appear to be more prevalent in African American breast cancer survivors than in White survivors. A motivational home-based exercise intervention designed for African American breast cancer survivors may facilitate positive physical activity behavior change.

Methods A prospective single-arm pre-posttest intervention design will be utilized. Forty sedentary African American breast cancer survivors, within six months of treatment, will be recruited from Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Rex Cancer Center. Participants will come into the Integrative Exercise Oncology Laboratory (IEOL) for baseline assessments and instructions on the aerobic (brisk walking) and resistance training exercise plan. Participants will receive heart rate monitors and accelerometers for objective exercise monitoring. Post-intervention assessments will be conducted in the IEOL after 4 months. The home-based intervention will include weekly telephone counseling, based on Motivational Interviewing strategies, and computerized tailored newsletters. Descriptive statistics, along with correlation and regression analyses will be conducted.

Implications for Practice Findings could be useful in designing future exercise programs for African American breast cancer survivors.