Implementing Exercise Into Clinical Practice in Breast Cancer Care

Official Title

Evaluation of a Novel Strategy to Implement Exercise Evidence Into Clinical Practice in Breast Cancer Care: The NEXT-BRCA Trial


BACKGROUND: One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. With improved screening and treatment techniques, more women are surviving breast cancer. However, women live with physical and emotional side effects secondary to treatment for years after cancer treatments have ended. Exercise can help to manage these side effects, however, less than 30% of this population takes part in regular exercise. The objective of this trial is to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of a novel exercise and education program for women with breast cancer during chemotherapy.

METHODS: Participants in this study include women with a diagnosis of stage 1 - 3 breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Women will be divided into three groups. The first group will include 8 sessions of exercise and self-management education during their chemotherapy treatment. The second group will receive self-management education only, and the third group will receive usual care. Outcomes will be compared between groups at baseline, post-intervention, and at 6- and 12- month follow up. Outcomes to be assessed include exercise level, functional mobility, muscle strength, quality of life, health status, and use of health care services.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES: Women with breast cancer are among the least active segment of the Canadian population. It is well known that inactivity can lead to physical and psychological side effects, cancer recurrence, and an increase in comorbid conditions. This proposed project addresses a long-standing need to help women with breast cancer become and stay more active by implementing a novel exercise and education program.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Change in baseline physical activity level
Secondary Outcome:
  • Change in baseline quality of life
  • Change in level of exercise knowledge
  • Change in baseline perception of health status
  • Change in baseline aerobic capacity
  • Change in baseline levels of lower extremity strength
  • Change in patient engagement in health services
  • Change in baseline levels of resting BP
  • Change in baseline resting heart rate

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Canadian Cancer Society

These resources are provided in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society