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Survivorship care plans and adherence to lifestyle recommendations among breast cancer survivors



The effectiveness of survivorship care plans has not been widely tested. We evaluated whether a one-time brief lifestyle consultation as part of a broader survivorship care plan was effective at changing diet and lifestyle patterns.


A diverse sample of women with stage 0-III breast cancer were randomized to control or intervention groups within 6 weeks of completing adjuvant treatment. Both groups received the National Cancer Institute publication, “Facing Forward: Life after Cancer Treatment.” The intervention group also met with a nurse (1 h) and a nutritionist (1 h) to receive personalized lifestyle recommendations based upon national guidelines. Diet, lifestyle, and perceived health were assessed at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Linear regression analyses evaluated the effects of the intervention adjusted for covariates.


A total of 126 women completed the study (60 control/66 intervention, 61 Hispanic/65 non-Hispanic). At 3 months, the intervention group reported greater knowledge of a healthy diet (P = 0.047), importance of physical activity (P = 0.03), and appropriate use of dietary supplements (P = 0.006) and reported lower frequency of alcohol drinking (P = 0.03) than controls. At 6 months, only greater knowledge of a healthy diet (P = 0.01) persisted. The intervention was more effective among non-Hispanics than Hispanics on improving attitude towards healthy eating (P = 0.03) and frequency of physical activity (P = 0.006).


The intervention changed lifestyle behaviors and knowledge in the short-term, but the benefits did not persist.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

Culturally competent long-term behavioral interventions should be tested beyond the survivorship care plan to facilitate long-term behavior change among breast cancer survivors.

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Correspondence to Heather Greenlee.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


This study was funded by Susan G. Komen for The Cure DISP0706868 (DLH), the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (DLH), and National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute K23CA141052 (HG) and NCI R25T CA094061-12 (CSM).

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Greenlee, H., Molmenti, C.L.S., Crew, K.D. et al. Survivorship care plans and adherence to lifestyle recommendations among breast cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv 10, 956–963 (2016).

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