Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 2483–2489 | Cite as

Long-term physical activity outcomes of home-based lifestyle interventions among breast and prostate cancer survivors

  • Allison J. Ottenbacher
  • R. Sue Day
  • Wendell C. Taylor
  • Shreela V. Sharma
  • Richard Sloane
  • Denise C. Snyder
  • Isaac M. Lipkus
  • Lee W. Jones
  • Wendy Demark-Wahnefried
Original Article



Few studies have investigated long-term effects of physical activity (PA) interventions. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether or not increased levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were maintained by cancer survivors 1 year after receipt of two home-based interventions.


The FRESH START trial randomized 543 breast and prostate cancer survivors to 1-of-2 mailed print diet and exercise interventions: sequentially-tailored vs. standardized (attention control). Each arm received eight mailings over a 1-year period, with follow-up at 1 and 2 years. This analysis focuses solely on the 400 participants who had suboptimal levels of MVPA at baseline (measured by the 7-Day Physical Activity Recall) and who completed the 2-year study.


Median minutes of MVPA at baseline, 1-year and 2-year follow-up in the tailored intervention arm were as follows: 0, 90, and 60 min/week, respectively. The corresponding values in the attention control group were 0, 30, and 30 min/week. Significant improvements in MVPA from baseline to 2-year follow-up were observed in both study arms (p < 0.01). While significant between-arm differences were observed at 1-year follow-up (p < 0.01), there was only the suggestion of a trend (p = 0.08) at 2-year follow-up.


This study provides evidence that mailed-print exercise interventions result in significant and sustainable improvements in MVPA among newly diagnosed cancer survivors that are observed well after the intervention is complete. While tailored interventions, as compared to standardized materials, appear to produce superior improvements in MVPA initially, these differences diminish over time.


Breast neoplasms Prostatic neoplasms Maintenance Physical activity Intervention Durability Exercise 



The original FRESH START trial was supported by grants R01 CA81191, CA74000, CA63782, and M01-RR-30 from the National Institutes of Health and also by the American Institute of Cancer Research and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. This material is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Durham VA Medical Center.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allison J. Ottenbacher
    • 1
  • R. Sue Day
    • 2
  • Wendell C. Taylor
    • 2
  • Shreela V. Sharma
    • 2
  • Richard Sloane
    • 3
  • Denise C. Snyder
    • 4
  • Isaac M. Lipkus
    • 4
  • Lee W. Jones
    • 5
  • Wendy Demark-Wahnefried
    • 6
  1. 1.University of Texas - Memorial HermannCenter for Healthcare Quality and SafetyTXUSA
  2. 2.University of Texas School of Public HealthHoustonUSA
  3. 3.The Center for the Study of Aging and Human DevelopmentDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Duke University School of NursingDurhamUSA
  5. 5.Department of Radiation OncologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  6. 6.University of Alabama at Birmingham, Comprehensive Cancer CenterBirminghamUSA

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