Patterns and predictors of exercise behavior during 24 months of follow-up after a supervised exercise program during breast cancer chemotherapy An, Ki-Yong; Kang, Dong-Woo; Morielli, Andria R; Friedenreich, Christine M; Reid, Robert D; McKenzie, Donald C; Gelmon, Karen; Mackey, John R; Courneya, Kerry S
Background: Understanding the longer-term exercise behavior of patients with breast cancer after chemotherapy is important to promote sustained exercise. The purpose of the current study was to report the longer-term patterns and predictors of exercise behavior in patients with breast cancer who exercised during chemotherapy. Methods: In the Combined Aerobic and Resistance Exercise (CARE) Trial, 301 patients with breast cancer were randomized to three different exercise prescriptions during chemotherapy. Exercise behaviors after chemotherapy were self-reported at 6-, 12-, and 24-month follow-up. Exercise patterns were identified by categorizing patients according to which exercise guideline they were meeting (neither, aerobic only, resistance only, or combined) at each of the three follow-up timepoints (64 possible patterns). Predictors of longer-term exercise behavior included physical fitness, patient-reported outcomes, and motivational variables from the theory of planned behavior assessed at postintervention (postchemotherapy). Univariate and multivariate stepwise multinomial logistic regression and linear regression were used for statistical analyses. Results: A total of 264 (88%) participants completed all three follow-up exercise behavior assessments and exhibited 50 different exercise patterns. Postintervention aerobic fitness was the most consistent predictor of longer-term exercise behavior at all three timepoints. For example, higher aerobic fitness (per 1 ml/kg/min) predicted better adherence to the “aerobic only” (OR = 1.09; p = 0.005) and “combined” (OR = 1.12; p < 0.001) guidelines compared to “neither” guideline at 6-month follow-up. Additionally, higher postintervention muscular strength (per 1 kg) was associated with better adherence to the “resistance only” (OR = 1.07; p = 0.025) and “combined” (OR = 1.08; p < 0.001) guidelines compared to “neither” guideline at 24-month follow-up. Finally, lower perceived difficulty (per 1 scale point) was associated with better adherence to the “combined” (OR = 0.62; p = 0.010) and “aerobic only” (OR = 0.58; p = 0.002) guideline compared to the “neither” guideline at the 24-month follow-up. Conclusions: Our study is the first to show that the longer-term exercise patterns of patients with breast cancer who exercised during chemotherapy are diverse and predicted by physical fitness and motivational variables after chemotherapy. Our novel implications are that improving physical fitness during chemotherapy and applying motivational counseling after chemotherapy may improve longer-term exercise behavior in patients with breast cancer. Trial registration: (NCT00249015).
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