Journal of Cancer Survivorship

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 148–157

Adherence to a randomized controlled trial of aerobic exercise in breast cancer survivors: the Yale exercise and survivorship study

  • Rebecca N. Latka
  • Marty Alvarez-Reeves
  • Lisa Cadmus
  • Melinda L. Irwin

DOI: 10.1007/s11764-009-0088-z

Cite this article as:
Latka, R.N., Alvarez-Reeves, M., Cadmus, L. et al. J Cancer Surviv (2009) 3: 148. doi:10.1007/s11764-009-0088-z



To examine predictors of exercise adherence in breast cancer survivors.


Seventy-five breast cancer survivors were randomly assigned to exercise (n = 37) or usual care (n = 38). Demographic, prognostic, physiologic, and psychosocial information was collected at baseline and 6 months. The exercise goal was 30 min of exercise 5 days/week for 6 months.


Women randomized to exercise participated in moderate-intensity recreational exercise for 123 ± 52 min/week (81% of the prescribed 150 min/week) over 6 months. Baseline variables associated with better adherence were lower body mass index (BMI), smaller waist circumference, higher amounts of physical activity 6 months prior to enrollment, being in the preparation vs. contemplation Stage of Change and higher FACT-B breast cancer subscale score. After adjusting for these variables, lower BMI and higher Stage of Change continued to be associated with better adherence (p < 0.05).


Future studies of exercise and breast cancer prognosis should target obese women for participation, as well as women just beginning to contemplate participation and its benefits after a cancer diagnosis.


Physical activityFitnessSurvivalRecurrenceObesityWeightBehaviorDiet

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca N. Latka
    • 1
  • Marty Alvarez-Reeves
    • 2
  • Lisa Cadmus
    • 3
  • Melinda L. Irwin
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Yale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Dana Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA
  3. 3.Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthYale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA