Background: Supervised physical activity (PA) improves short-term health outcomes in cancer survivors, but longer-term adherence is rarely achieved.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of adding behavioral counseling to supervised PA in kidney cancer survivors (KCSs).
Methods: Thirty-two KCSs were randomized to a 4-week supervised PA program plus standard exercise counseling (SPA + EC group; n = 16) or a 4-week supervised PA plus behavioral counseling based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (SPA + BC group; n = 16). The primary outcome was self-reported PA at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes were quality of life, anthropometric measures, cardiorespiratory fitness, and physical function.
Results: Follow-up rates for outcomes at 12 weeks were 88% and 94% for fitness testing and questionnaires, respectively. Adherence to the interventions was 94% in both groups with a 6% attrition rate. Analyses of covariance revealed that PA minutes at 12 weeks favored the SPA + BC group by +34 minutes (95% confidence interval, −62 to 129), which was a small effect size (d = 0.21) not reaching statistical significance (P = .47). Moreover, the SPA + BC group increased their 6-minute walk by 48 m more than the SPA + EC group (95% confidence interval, 1–95; d = +0.64; P = .046). There were no significant changes in quality of life measures.
Conclusions: This pilot study provides preliminary evidence that adding behavioral counseling to supervised PA in KCSs is feasible and may improve PA and fitness in the short-term. Larger and longer-term trials are needed.
Implications for Practice: Oncology nurses may consider adopting behavioral counseling strategies in addition to supervised PA to motivate KCSs to maintain PA.