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Keywords

African-American breast cancer survivors, physical activity, strength-training, walking, recruitment, retention, adherence, acceptability

Abstract

Most African-American breast cancer survivors do not meet current exercise recommendations for cancer survivors, which include both aerobic and strength-training exercises. This pilot study tested the feasibility of delivering a home-based exercise intervention to African-American breast cancer survivors. Sedentary African-American breast cancer survivors were recruited for a 16-week motivational home-based progressive aerobic and strength-training exercise pilot study. Participants completed weekly exercise logs and received weekly phone calls. To assess feasibility, we evaluated recruitment, retention, and adherence rates, as well as participant acceptance and safety. 17 women enrolled; 13 completed the intervention (76%). Participants had moderately-high adherence (70%) to walking goals, but only 51% for strength training goals which progressed to three times a week towards the end of the study. All women indicated that they planned to continue exercising regularly. Additionally, they all reported they would continue walking, but only nine of 13 indicated they would continue strength-training.This study addresses gaps in the exercise oncology literature since very few exercise studies have targeted African-American breast cancer survivors. Also, most exercise studies among breast cancer survivors have focused only on increasing aerobic physical activity. The intervention was feasible and safe to deliver. However, study modifications to improve recruitment and adherence in future mixed modality exercise interventions are recommended.