Geographic Recruitment of Breast Cancer Survivors into Community-Based Exercise Interventions
ABSTRACT There is increased interest in developing and disseminating health behavior interventions for cancer survivors. Challenges in these efforts include participant burden in traveling to central intervention sites and sustainability. The purpose of this article is to report various methods used to recruit breast cancer survivors into an exercise intervention that attempts to address both of these challenges.
Letters were mailed within specific zip codes near community-based intervention sites in cooperation with state cancer registries. Additional recruitment methods included flyers at breast care clinics and support groups, mass media, and conferences.
Of the 3200 women who responded, 82% (n = 2625) identified having heard about the study through state or hospital registry and 8% (n = 243) through print and broadcast media. Thirty-five percent (n = 103) of randomized women self-identified as having a minority racial background and 31.9% (n = 94) self-identified as African American. Comparisons of participant age and racial distribution to state cancer registries indicate similar age distribution but greater racial diversity among participants.
These results support the use of population-based cancer registries to recruit survivors into community-based interventions and clinical trials.
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ABSTRACT: Lymphedema is a chronic and progressive long-term adverse effect of breast cancer treatment commonly defined by swelling of the affected arm. Current clinical guidelines indicate that women with and at risk for lymphedema should protect the affected arm from overuse. In clinical practice, this often translates into risk aversive guidance to avoid using the arm. This could lead to a disuse pattern that may increase the likelihood of injury from common activities of daily living. Further, such guidance poses an additional barrier to staying physically active, potentially translating to weight gain, which has been shown to be associated with worse clinical course for women with lymphedema. We hypothesize that a program of slowly progressive strength training with no upper limit on the amount of weight that may be lifted would gradually increase the physiologic capacity of the arm so that common activities represent a decreasing percentage of maximal capacity. Theoretically, this increased capacity should decrease the risk that daily activities put stress on the lymphatic system of the affected side. The Physical Activity and Lymphedema (PAL) Trial is a recently completed randomized controlled exercise intervention trial that recruited 295 breast cancer survivors (141 with lymphedema at study entry, 154 at risk for lymphedema at study entry). The purpose of this report is to provide detail regarding the study design, statistical design, and protocol of the PAL trial.Contemporary clinical trials 02/2009; 30(3):233-45. DOI:10.1016/j.cct.2009.01.001 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a twice-weekly strength training intervention on perceptions of body image in 234 breast cancer survivors (112 with lymphedema) who participated in the Physical Activity and Lymphedema (PAL) trial. The study population included two hundred and thirty-four women randomly assigned to twice-weekly strength training or control group that completed the 32-item Body Image and Relationships Scale (BIRS) at baseline and 12 months. Percent change in baseline to 12-month BIRS total and subscale scores, upper and lower body strength, and general quality of life (QOL) were compared by intervention status. A series of multiple linear regression models including indicator variables for subgroups based on age, marital status, race, education, BMI, and strength change were used to examine differential intervention impact by subgroup. Strength and QOL variables were assessed as mediators of the intervention effect on BIRS. Results: Baseline BIRS scores were similar across intervention and lymphedema status. Significantly greater improvement in BIRS total score was observed from baseline to 12 months in treatment vs. control participants (12.0 vs. 2.0%; P < 0.0001). A differential impact of the intervention on the Strength and Health subscale was observed for older women (>50 years old) in the treatment group (P = 0.03). Significantly greater improvement was observed in bench and leg press among treatment group when compared to control group participants, regardless of lymphedema. Observed intervention effects were independent of observed strength and QOL changes. Twice-weekly strength training positively impacted self-perceptions of appearance, health, physical strength, sexuality, relationships, and social functioning. Evidence suggests the intervention was beneficial regardless of prior diagnosis of lymphedema. Strength and QOL improvements did not mediate the observed intervention effects.Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 09/2009; 121(2):421-30. DOI:10.1007/s10549-009-0550-7 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cancer survivors experience numerous disease and treatment-related adverse outcomes and poorer health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Exercise interventions are hypothesized to alleviate these adverse outcomes. HRQoL and its domains are important measures for cancer survivorship. To evaluate the effectiveness of exercise on overall HRQoL and HRQoL domains among adult post-treatment cancer survivors. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PEDRO, LILACS, SIGLE, SportDiscus, OTSeeker, and Sociological Abstracts from inception to October 2011 with no language or date restrictions. We also searched citations through Web of Science and Scopus, PubMed's related article feature, and several websites. We reviewed reference lists of included trials and other reviews in the field. We included all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs) comparing exercise interventions with usual care or other nonexercise intervention to assess overall HRQoL or at least one HRQoL domain in adults. Included trials tested exercise interventions that were initiated after completion of active cancer treatment. We excluded trials including people who were terminally ill, or receiving hospice care, or both, and where the majority of trial participants were undergoing active treatment for either the primary or recurrent cancer. Five paired review authors independently extracted information on characteristics of included trials, data on effects of the intervention, and assessed risk of bias based on predefined criteria. Where possible, meta-analyses results were performed for HRQoL and HRQoL domains for the reported difference between baseline values and follow-up values using standardized mean differences (SMD) and a random-effects model by length of follow-up. We also reported the SMDs between mean follow-up values of exercise and control group. Because investigators used many different HRQoL and HRQoL domain instruments and often more than one for the same domain, we selected the more commonly used instrument to include in the SMD meta-analyses. We also report the mean difference for each type of instrument separately. We included 40 trials with 3694 participants randomized to an exercise (n = 1927) or comparison (n = 1764) group. Cancer diagnoses in study participants included breast, colorectal, head and neck, lymphoma, and other. Thirty trials were conducted among participants who had completed active treatment for their primary or recurrent cancer and 10 trials included participants both during and post cancer treatment. Mode of the exercise intervention included strength training, resistance training, walking, cycling, yoga, Qigong, or Tai Chi. HRQoL and its domains were measured using a wide range of measures.The results suggested that exercise compared with control has a positive impact on HRQoL and certain HRQoL domains. Exercise resulted in improvement in: global HRQoL at 12 weeks' (SMD 0.48; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.16 to 0.81) and 6 months' (0.46; 95% CI 0.09 to 0.84) follow-up, breast cancer concerns between 12 weeks' and 6 months' follow-up (SMD 0.99; 95% CI 0.41 to 1.57), body image/self-esteem when assessed using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale at 12 weeks (MD 4.50; 95% CI 3.40 to 5.60) and between 12 weeks' and 6 months' (mean difference (MD) 2.70; 95% CI 0.73 to 4.67) follow-up, emotional well-being at 12 weeks' follow-up (SMD 0.33; 95% CI 0.05 to 0.61), sexuality at 6 months' follow-up (SMD 0.40; 95% CI 0.11 to 0.68), sleep disturbance when comparing follow-up values by comparison group at 12 weeks' follow-up (SMD -0.46; 95% CI -0.72 to -0.20), and social functioning at 12 weeks' (SMD 0.45; 95% CI 0.02 to 0.87) and 6 months' (SMD 0.49; 95% CI 0.11 to 0.87) follow-up. Further, exercise interventions resulted in decreased anxiety at 12 weeks' follow-up (SMD -0.26; 95% CI -0.07 to -0.44), fatigue at 12 weeks' (SMD -0.82; 95% CI -1.50 to -0.14) and between 12 weeks' and 6 months' (SMD -0.42; 95% CI -0.02 to -0.83) follow-up, and pain at 12 weeks' follow-up (SMD -0.29; 95% CI -0.55 to -0.04) when comparing follow-up values by comparison group.Positive trends and impact of exercise intervention existed for depression and body image (when analyzing combined instruments); however, because few studies measured these outcomes the robustness of findings is uncertain.No conclusions can be drawn regarding the effects of exercise interventions on HRQoL domains of cognitive function, physical functioning, general health perspective, role function, and spirituality.Results of the review need to be interpreted cautiously owing to the risk of bias. All the trials reviewed were at high risk for performance bias. In addition, the majority of trials were at high risk for detection, attrition, and selection bias. This systematic review indicates that exercise may have beneficial effects on HRQoL and certain HRQoL domains including cancer-specific concerns (e.g. breast cancer), body image/self-esteem, emotional well-being, sexuality, sleep disturbance, social functioning, anxiety, fatigue, and pain at varying follow-up periods. The positive results must be interpreted cautiously due to the heterogeneity of exercise programs tested and measures used to assess HRQoL and HRQoL domains, and the risk of bias in many trials. Further research is required to investigate how to sustain positive effects of exercise over time and to determine essential attributes of exercise (mode, intensity, frequency, duration, timing) by cancer type and cancer treatment for optimal effects on HRQoL and its domains.Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 08/2012; 8(8):CD007566. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD007566.pub2 · 6.03 Impact Factor