Moderators of physical activity and quality of life response to a physical activity intervention for breast cancer survivors

Erica Schleicher, Edward McAuley, Kerry S. Courneya, Phillip Anton, Diane K. Ehlers, Siobhan M. Phillips, Robert A. Oster, Dorothy Pekmezi, Laura Q. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) can improve the quality of life (QoL) for breast cancer survivors (BCS), yet, most do not achieve 150 + weekly minutes of MVPA. This study investigated moderators of response to a physical activity (PA) behavior change intervention for BCS. Methods: BCS (N = 222) were randomized to the 3-month intervention (BEAT Cancer) or usual care. Measurements occurred at baseline, post-intervention, and 3 months post-intervention. Measures included accelerometry, self-reported MVPA, and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT-General, FACT-Breast, physical well-being (PWB), social well-being (SWB), emotional well-being (EWB), functional well-being (FWB), additional concerns (AC), and Trial Outcome Index (TOI)). Results: Adjusted linear mixed-model analyses indicated individuals ≤ 24 months post-diagnosis and who were single reported smaller increases in weekly self-reported MVPA than those > 24 months (44.07 vs 111.93) and partnered (− 16.24 vs. 49.16 min), all p < 0.05. As for QoL, participants < 12 months post-diagnosis who received chemotherapy experienced smaller improvements than those ≥ 12 months in FACT-General, FACT-Breast, PWB, and SWB scores. Survivors with a history of chemotherapy had smaller improvements in FACT-General, FACT-Breast, PWB, SWB, TOI, and AC scores, all p < 0.05. Conclusion: These findings indicate that being < 2 years post-diagnosis, single, and prior chemotherapy may limit MVPA and QOL responses to a PA intervention. Further studies are needed to determine if and/or what additional PA supports and resources these subgroups of BCS might find beneficial and effective. Trial registration: number: NCT00929617.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number53
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Breast cancer survivors
  • Exercise
  • Oncology
  • Quality of life
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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