Exercise and relaxation intervention for breast cancer survivors: feasibility, acceptability and effects



Objective: Although evidence mounts regarding the beneficial effects of physical activity (PA) interventions for breast cancer survivors, not all interventions have produced significant improvement in mood. Relaxation training may be a promising strategy for enhancing mood effects from these interventions. The goals of Be Calm and Move On were to assess the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effects of a 12-week combined PA and relaxation intervention for breast cancer survivors.

Methods: Twenty-three early-stage breast cancer survivors were enrolled and 19 were retained for the intervention and 12- and 24-week follow-ups. Participants received a theoretically grounded intervention delivered via telephone.

Results: Participant evaluations of the intervention indicated that it was feasible and acceptable (e.g. 100% would recommend it to others); objective data further supported its feasibility (e.g. 83% completed the trial, 91% of intervention calls were received). In addition, when comparing 12- and 24-week follow-up data to baseline data, participants demonstrated significantly increased PA, improved mood and sleep quality, and reduced fatigue (p's<0.05).

Conclusion: Thus, this pilot study suggests that the intervention is feasible and acceptable and produces promising effects on mood, sleep, and fatigue. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.