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Open Access Research

Predictors of adherence to different types and doses of supervised exercise during breast cancer chemotherapy

Kerry S Courneya1*, Roanne J Segal23, Karen Gelmon45, John R Mackey16, Christine M Friedenreich7, Yutaka Yasui1, Robert D Reid8, Carolyn Proulx2, Linda Trinh1, Lianne B Dolan4, Evyanne Wooding23, James R Vallerand1 and Donald C McKenzie4

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, E-488 Van Vliet Center, Edmonton T6G 2H9, AB, Canada

2 The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Center, Ottawa, Canada

3 Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada

4 University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

5 British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada

6 Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, AB, Canada

7 Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Canada

8 University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Canada

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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2014, 11:85  doi:10.1186/s12966-014-0085-0

Published: 6 July 2014

Abstract (provisional)

BackgroundExercise is beneficial for breast cancer patients during chemotherapy but adherence to different types and doses of exercise is a challenge. The purpose of this study was to examine predictors of adherence to different types and doses of exercise during breast cancer chemotherapy in a multicenter randomized controlled trial.MethodsBreast cancer patients in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Ottawa, Canada receiving chemotherapy (N?=?301) were randomized to a standard dose of 25?30 minutes of aerobic exercise (STAN), a higher dose of 50?60 minutes of aerobic exercise (HIGH), or a higher dose of 50?60 minutes of combined aerobic and resistance exercise (COMB). Predictors included demographic, medical, fitness, and quality of life variables. Exercise adherence was measured as the percentage of supervised exercise sessions completed.ResultsOverall adherence to the supervised exercise sessions was 73% (SD?=?24%). In a multivariate regression model, six independent predictors explained 26.4% (p?<?0.001) of the variance in exercise adherence. Higher exercise adherence was achieved by breast cancer patients in Vancouver (p?<?0.001), with fewer endocrine symptoms (p?=?0.009), randomized to STAN (p?=?0.009), with fewer exercise limitations (p?=?0.009), receiving shorter chemotherapy protocols (p?=?0.015), and with higher VO2peak (p?=?0.017). Disease stage (p for interaction?=?0.015) and body mass index (p for interaction?=?0.030) interacted with group assignment to predict adherence. For disease stage, patients with stage I/IIa disease adhered equally well to all three exercise interventions whereas patients with stage IIb/III disease adhered better to the STAN intervention than the two higher dose exercise interventions. For body mass index, healthy weight patients adhered equally well to all three exercise interventions whereas overweight patients adhered best to STAN and worst to COMB; and obese patients adhered best to STAN and worst to HIGH.ConclusionsDeterminants of exercise adherence in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy are multidisciplinary and may vary by the exercise prescription.

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