A pilot study of a home-based motivational exercise program for African American breast cancer survivors: clinical and quality-of-life outcomes.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


African American breast cancer survivors engage in less physical activity compared with their Caucasian counterparts. There is a need for exercise intervention research that focuses on improving the overall health and long-term survivorship of African American breast cancer survivors, especially because they often have worse outcomes than Caucasian survivors. Study objectives were to determine whether African American participants increase physical activity and explore whether exercise had a positive impact on fitness and health.


African American breast cancer survivors, stage 0 to IIIA, within 2 years of completing primary cancer treatments were recruited for a 16-week home-based aerobic and resistance training exercise pilot study. Outcome measures assessed at baseline and postintervention included physical activity questionnaires and accelerometry, cardiopulmonary function (VO2peak) with gas exchange, muscle strength, Selective Functional Movement Assessment, and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scans for body composition analysis. Assessments for fatigue and quality of life (QOL) were also completed at baseline and postintervention. Motivational interviewing was utilized to determine goals and explore exercise facilitators/barriers. Participants completed weekly exercise logs and received weekly phone calls. Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used to detect significant changes in physical activity and also changes in fitness/health parameters, fatigue, and QOL. Spearman correlation coefficients were used to examine relationships between physical activity and health measures.


A total of 17 women enrolled; 13 completed the intervention (76%). Mean age of the participants was 51 years. There was a significant increase in total minutes of weekly physical activity postintervention ( : = 271 minutes, S: = 151; : = .001). Significant improvements were found in cardiopulmonary fitness as measured by VO2peak with a mean increase of 2.03 mL/kg/min ( : = .01). Several strength measures significantly increased and also functional movement ( : = .005). Positive correlations existed between physical activity and several physical measures, with significant relationships between functional movement and some strength measures (eg, left arm extension: RS : = 0.61, : = .002). Total QOL and fatigue scores improved, but neither was significant.


The intervention led to increased physical activity. As a result of increased levels of physical activity, improvements on several fitness/health parameters occurred.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Spector, D; Deal, AM; Amos, KD; Yang, H; Battaglini, CL

Published Date

  • March 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 121 - 132

PubMed ID

  • 24105359

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-695X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1534-7354

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1534735413503546


  • eng