Effects of a HAPA-based Exercise Counseling on the Activity Level of Insufficiently Active Cancer Patients

  • N. Ungar
  • M. Sieverding
  • C.M. Ulrich
  • J. Wiskemann


The study examined if a Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) based exercise counseling increases physical activity of cancer patients who are motivated but insufficiently active and leads to a progress in HAPA stages. 72 cancer patients (54 % female; M = 56 years) participated in the MOTIVACTION study consisting of a 4 week intervention (1 hour personal counseling and weekly phone calls) with pre- (T1) and post-test (T2). Participants were randomized either to exercise counseling or stress management training (control). The exercise counseling included volitional behavior change techniques and a meeting with a role model. Physical exercise was assessed with the SQUASH. Patients of the exercise counseling group increased their weekly exercise from 52 minutes (T1) to 150 minutes (T2). They spend significantly more minutes on exercise at T2 than patients of the control group (M = 150.4 vs. M = 65.0, p < .05). Looking at HAPA stages, 47% could proceed in stages between T1 and T2 in the exercise group, whereas only 24% in the control group. The MOTIVACTION exercise intervention turned out to be helpful to increase the exercise of insufficiently active cancer patients.
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