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Web-based Physical Activity Intervention for Young Adult Cancer Survivors

18 Years
39 Years
Not Enrolling

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Trial Information

Web-based Physical Activity Intervention for Young Adult Cancer Survivors

Young adults diagnosed with cancer constitute a particularly vulnerable population whose
medical and psychosocial needs are often overlooked. Those diagnosed with cancer between
the ages of 18 and 39 face a number of increased risks including an increased risk of
cardiovascular disease, second cancers, and emotional distress. Despite this, only a very
small percentage of cancer research has focused on the survivorship issues of young adults.
The goal of the proposed research is to address some of the unmet needs among young adult
cancer survivors by developing and pilot testing a physical activity intervention for this
population. Physical activity was selected as the target behavior as: 1. a high percentage
of young adult cancer survivors have a sedentary lifestyle and 2. research has shown that
cancer survivors who increase their physical activity experience improved cardiopulmonary
function, reduced fatigue, enhanced mood and superior cancer outcomes. The intervention
will be based on a previously developed, theoretically-grounded, tailored Internet
intervention for sedentary adults. This previously developed intervention uses components
of the Transtheoretical Model and Social Cognitive Theory to promote physical activity; for
example, participants complete monthly questionnaires online and received tailored feedback
reports addressing their self-efficacy, decisional balance and processes of change. The
intervention website also includes features such as tips for exercising while caring for
young children and local physical activity resources. Two key enhancements will be added to
the intervention website in order to target the young adult cancer survivor population— 1.
information pertinent to cancer survivors initiating an exercise program and 2. a
peer-to-peer support component. Once these enhancements have been added, 10 young adult
cancer survivors will evaluate the intervention and provide qualitative feedback.
Additional revisions will be made to the intervention, as needed, based on this feedback.
The intervention will then be pilot tested with a sample of 40 young adult cancer survivors.
Participants will be randomly assigned to an intervention group (receiving 12 weeks of
access to the intervention website) or a comparison group (receiving information on three
cancer-specific Internet sites). Data on intervention feasibility and acceptability will be
collected along with preliminary data on intervention effects (i.e., on physical activity
level, mood, and fatigue). The latter will be used for effect size estimates when designing
a future efficacy trial.

Inclusion Criteria:

- age 18 to 39

- diagnosed with any form of cancer (except non-melanoma skin cancer) between the ages
of 18 and 39 in the past 10 years

- completed all surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy

- currently in a cancer remission

- able to speak and write fluently in English

- able to access the Internet (at home, school, or work)

- sedentary.

Exclusion Criteria:

- currently pregnant or the intention to get pregnant

- the presence of a known medical condition (e.g., history of CVD) or history of severe
psychiatric illness (e.g., psychotic disorder) making participation dangerous or very

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Supportive Care

Outcome Measure:

Feasibility measure: percentage of weeks that participants enter physical activity goals and information on the intervention website

Outcome Time Frame:

12 weeks

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Carolyn Rabin

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

The Miriam Hospital


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

May 2009

Completion Date:

April 2011

Related Keywords:

  • Cancer
  • young adult
  • cancer
  • exercise
  • physical activity



Miriam HospitalProvidence, Rhode Island  02906