Move 2 Health: a partner-assisted physical activity intervention for cancer survivors

  • L. Porter
  • X. Gao
  • P. Lyna
  • W. Kraus
  • E. Patterson
  • B. Puleo
  • K. Pollak


Background: Physical activity is an essential part of cancer survivors’ treatment plan as it helps prevent recurrence and improves downstream cardiovascular risk, the cause for most deaths in cancer survivors. Additional benefits include improvements in physical function, psychological outcomes, and quality of life. However, most survivors are not sufficiently active, and prior physical activity interventions for cancer survivors have had mixed success. Involving partners in a physical activity intervention is a novel approach that could increase the efficacy of the intervention and the sustainability of effects. Methods: We conducted a two-arm, waitlist randomized controlled pilot study in which we delivered a home-based physical activity intervention to cancer survivors and their partners. The study goals were to show feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy. Findings: We randomized 20 survivor-partner dyads (9 intervention and 11 waitlist control). 67% of the survivors who received the intervention rated it as useful (4 or 5 out of 5) in helping them increase their physical activity and 67% would recommend it to other survivors. 67% of the survivors in the intervention arm, compared to 27% in the control condition, reported increases in their physical activity at 2-months post-randomization. 56% of partners in the intervention arm, compared to 36% in the control condition, reported increases in their physical activity. Discussion: Our pilot data suggest the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a partner-assisted physical activity intervention. The next step is to conduct a large randomized controlled trial to fully test the efficacy of the intervention.
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