Better exercise adherence after treatment for cancer (BEAT Cancer) study: Rationale, design, and methods

Laura Q. Rogers, Edward McAuley, Philip M. Anton, Kerry S. Courneya, Sandra Vicari, Patricia Hopkins-Price, Steven Verhulst, Robert Mocharnuk, Karen Hoelzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most breast cancer survivors do not engage in regular physical activity. Our physical activity behavior change intervention for breast cancer survivors significantly improved physical activity and health outcomes post-intervention during a pilot, feasibility study. Testing in additional sites with a larger sample and longer follow-up is warranted to confirm program effectiveness short and longer term. Importantly, the pilot intervention resulted in changes in physical activity and social cognitive theory constructs, enhancing our potential for testing mechanisms mediating physical activity behavior change. Here, we report the rationale, design, and methods for a two-site, randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of the BEAT Cancer physical activity behavior change intervention to usual care on short and longer term physical activity adherence among breast cancer survivors. Secondary aims include examining social cognitive theory mechanisms of physical activity behavior change and health benefits of the intervention. Study recruitment goal is 256 breast cancer survivors with a history of ductal carcinoma in situ or Stage I, II, or IIIA disease who have completed primary cancer treatment. Outcome measures are obtained at baseline, 3. months (i.e., immediately post-intervention), 6. months, and 12. months and include physical activity, psychosocial factors, fatigue, sleep quality, lower extremity joint dysfunction, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, and waist-to-hip ratio. Confirming behavior change effectiveness, health effects, and underlying mechanisms of physical activity behavior change interventions will facilitate translation to community settings for improving the health and well-being of breast cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-137
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Adherence
  • Exercise
  • Oncology
  • Predictors
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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