Adherence to and satisfaction with low-intensity physical activity and supervised moderate-high intensity exercise during chemotherapy for breast cancer

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Supportive Care in Cancer




Exercise Medicine Research Institute




Alpe d’Huzes/Dutch Cancer Society Grant No. ALPE-2009-4299,

CZ Fund Zilveren Kruis Achmea,

Comprehensive Cancer Centre of the Netherlands


van Waart, H., Buffart, L. M., Stuiver, M. M., van Harten, W. H., Sonke, G. S., & Aaronson, N. K. (2020). Adherence to and satisfaction with low-intensity physical activity and supervised moderate-high intensity exercise during chemotherapy for breast cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer, 28, 2115–2126. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-019-05019-1


Purpose: In this study, we investigated factors associated with program adherence and patient satisfaction with a home-based physical activity program (Onco-Move, N = 77) and a supervised exercise program with a home-based component (OnTrack, N = 76). Methods: We assessed adherence via self-report (home-based program) and attendance records (supervised program). We used logistic regression analysis to identify sociodemographic, clinical and behavioural variables associated with program adherence. Patient satisfaction was assessed with self-report and is reported descriptively. Results: Fifty-one percent of Onco-Move and 62% of OnTrack participants were adherent to the home-based program, while 59% of OnTrack participants were adherent to the supervised sessions. Higher baseline physical fitness was associated with higher adherence to home-based components. Higher disease stage and having a partner were associated with adherence to OnTrack supervised sessions. Overall satisfaction with the exercise programs was high, but ratings of coaching provided by professionals for the home-based components were low. Patients offered suggestions for improving delivery of the programs. Conclusions: These findings point to factors relevant to program adherence and suggest ways in which such programs can be improved. Providing additional time and training for health care professionals could improve the quality and hopefully the effectiveness of the interventions. The use of online diaries and smartphone apps may provide additional encouragement to participants. Finally, allowing greater flexibility in the planning and availability of supervised exercise training in order to accommodate the variability in cancer treatment schedules and the (acute) side effects of the treatments could also enhance program adherence. Trial registration: Netherlands Trial Register, NTR2159. http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/admin/rctview.asp?TC=2159. © 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.



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Research Themes


Priority Areas

Exercise, nutrition, lifestyle and other interventions for optimal health across the lifespan