Peer mentorship to promote physical activity among cancer survivors: effects on quality of life.

Research paper by Bernardine B Pinto, Kevin K Stein, Shira S Dunsiger

Indexed on: 26 Jun '15Published on: 26 Jun '15Published in: Psycho-Oncology


Physical activity (PA) adoption can improve quality of life (QOL) and related outcomes among breast cancer survivors. To disseminate a telephone-based PA intervention to cancer survivors, we partnered with the American Cancer Society's Reach To Recovery program (RTR) whose volunteers (breast cancer survivors) provide information and emotional support to breast cancer survivors.This randomized controlled trial compared the effects of PA telephone counseling delivered by RTR volunteers (PA Plus RTR) versus a contact control condition (RTR Control) in six New England states. RTR volunteers (n = 18; mean age = 54.9 years, mean years since breast cancer diagnosis = 7.0) delivered a 12-week PA program to help participants adopt 30 min of moderate-intensity activity ≥5 days/week. Breast cancer survivors (n = 76; mean age = 55.62 years, mean years since diagnosis = 1.11, Stage 0 = 6.58%, Stage 1 = 38.16%, Stage 2 = 44.74%, Stage 3 = 10.53%) were randomized to a study group.Using a series of generalized linear models, we assessed intervention effects on physical health, physical functioning, mental health, fatigue, and QOL at 12 and 24 weeks, and examined whether these effects were moderated by age, marital status, chemotherapy use, and baseline values of the outcomes. There were no significant intervention effects on the outcomes but there were significant moderator effects of age, chemotherapy use, and baseline physical functioning, physical health, and breast cancer-specific symptoms (all p's < .05).Specific demographic and treatment variables and baseline psychosocial health moderate the impact of PA interventions on QOL. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.