C. Boisvert, S. Stoyles, Z. Mitri, T. M. Beer, K. Winters-Stone, FACSM

Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

The EXERCISING TOGETHER© trial is studying a partnered exercise program to improve the physical, emotional, and relationship health of cancer survivors and their partners (NCT03630354). During COVID-19, the exercise program delivery format transitioned from supervised, facility-based group exercise to supervised, group exercise delivered by video conference. This offered an opportunity to assess feasibility of remote supervised exercise by comparing exercise adherence and study retention rates between participants attending in-person and remote programs. METHODS: Data from 3 study groups of couples coping with breast cancer were used for analyses: 1 in-person group (n=46 participants), 1 hybrid group that transitioned to remote classes at week 8 (n=64 participants), and 1 group recruited into remote classes (n=66 participants). Couples exercise twice weekly for 6 months after randomization into 1 of 3 groups: partnered group exercise, separate survivor/spouse group exercise, or unsupervised home exercise. Adherence is defined by exercise session completion. Retention is defined by active study participation through the intervention. Comparisons between study arms and delivery format were assessed using linear mixed-effects models with a group by training interaction. RESULTS: The home group showed significantly lower adherence during remote training compared to in-person (p<0.01). The separate group showed a significant increase in attendance to remote classes compared to in-person (p<0.01) and the partnered group showed similar attendance rates in both delivery formats. Four couples from the hybrid wave (9.5% of the wave) withdrew in the transition to remote classes. Attrition rates of in-person, hybrid, and remote waves were 19.5%, 15.6%, and 12.5%, respectively, and did not differ across delivery formats. CONCLUSION: After transitioning to remote classes, the home group adherence decreased while supervised remote class adherence remained similar (partnered group) or increased (separate group). Our preliminary data suggest that couples coping with breast cancer may adhere to remote exercise classes just as well, or better than in-person classes and that attrition is not impacted by delivery format. Remote delivery of supervised exercise could increase program accessibility but efficacy remains to be determined.

This document is currently not available here.