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Behavioral counseling, Exercise, Kidney cancer, Physical activity, Randomized controlled trial



  1. Trinh, Linda PhD
  2. Plotnikoff, Ronald C. PhD
  3. Rhodes, Ryan E. PhD
  4. North, Scott MD
  5. Courneya, Kerry S. PhD


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.