Recruitment Strategies for a Home-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Breast Cancer Patients

Document Type



Published by Springer Netherlands in Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, volume 11, No. 3, pages 171-178.

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Recruitment;Behavioral trial;Breast cancer;Physical activity


Springer Netherlands

Publication Source

Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings


Recruiting cancer patients for randomized trials investigating psychosocial interventions presents several unique challenges. This paper describes the challenges and yields for different recruitment methods used in Moving Forward, a randomized trial of a home-based moderate-intensity physical activity program for early-stage breast cancer survivors. Recruitment methods included letters sent to patients by their oncologists, direct referrals from oncologists, in-person recruitment in oncology clinics, referrals from nurses and medical assistants, passive recruitment, other mailings, and community outreach strategies. Of the 424 screenings completed, 86 (20.3%) participants were randomized. Physician letters yielded the greatest number of initial screenings (147; 34.7%) and participants randomized (28; 32.5%). In-person recruitment also proved to be a productive recruitment strategy; 14 (16.3%) of the participants were recruited via this strategy. Community outreach efforts did not provide as great a yield and were labor intensive. We discuss suggestions for recruitment of cancer patients in future trials.

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