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01.07.2019 | Ausgabe 4/2019

Journal of Cancer Survivorship 4/2019

Building a physical activity intervention into clinical care for breast and colorectal cancer survivors in Wisconsin: a randomized controlled pilot trial

Journal of Cancer Survivorship > Ausgabe 4/2019
Lisa Cadmus-Bertram, Amye J. Tevaarwerk, Mary E. Sesto, Ronald Gangnon, Brittany Van Remortel, Preshita Date
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11764-019-00778-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



Cancer survivorship care plans (“care plans”) often recommend an active lifestyle yet are rarely accompanied by programs to help patients enact the prescribed behavior change. As a step towards bridging this gap, this trial tested the feasibility of augmenting care planning with a multi-level physical activity intervention.


Breast and colorectal cancer survivors were enrolled alongside a self-selected support partner (e.g., spouse, friend). Survivors received a care plan alone (comparison group) versus one augmented with a 12-week physical activity module (intervention group). For the intervention group dyads, both members received a multi-component program including Fitbit trackers, with the survivor’s Fitbit linked to his/her electronic health record (EHR). Treating clinicians received periodic updates regarding the survivors’ physical activity. The primary outcome was ActiGraph-measured physical activity, analyzed using mixed models. Feedback questionnaires were administered to participants and clinicians at 12 weeks.


Survivors (n = 50) were 54.4 ± 11.2 years of age and 2.0 ± 1.5 years post-diagnosis. Survivors in the intervention group increased moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) by 69 ± 84 min/week vs. a 20 ± 71 min/week decrease in the comparison group (p = .001). Likewise, daily steps increased by 1470 ± 1881 vs. a 398 ± 1751 decrease (P = .002). Among responding clinicians, 100% looked at survivors’ activity data within the EHR at least once and 80% said it provided insight into their patients’ lifestyles.


Augmenting a standard care plan with a multi-level, technology-based intervention increased physical activity among cancer survivors.

Implications for cancer survivors

Technology-based approaches, including activity trackers, can be used by individuals to work towards an active lifestyle after cancer.

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