Table_1_Determinants of Health and Physical Activity Levels Among Breast Cancer Survivors During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study.DOCX (660.67 kB)
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Table_1_Determinants of Health and Physical Activity Levels Among Breast Cancer Survivors During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study.DOCX

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posted on 26.07.2021, 05:59 authored by Aline Rachel Bezerra Gurgel, Pedro Mingroni-Netto, Jose Carlos Farah, Christina May Moran de Brito, Anna S. Levin, Patricia Chakur Brum
Background

Increased exercise and physical activity levels are recommended throughout cancer therapy and survivorship. Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent social distancing are likely to cause a decline in physical activity.

Objective

to evaluate the level of unsupervised physical activity of breast cancer survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the factors associated with difficulties in engaging and maintaining recommended physical activity levels.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional epidemiological study with a sample of 37 breast cancer survivors. They participated in a canoeing training program (project Remama) at the University of São Paulo before the COVID-19 pandemic. Socioeconomic aspects, engagement in physical activity, motivation, and potential exposure to COVID-19 were investigated through an online survey, administered in September of 2020.

Results

During the pandemic, participants increased their body weight (5 ± 3.4 kg); 90% reported decreasing physical activity levels associated with increased sedentary time. Twenty-one (58%) participants exhibited some COVID-19-related symptoms, most used public transportation (59%), or returned to work during the period of a high incidence of COVID-19. The only factor associated with perceived difficulty in engaging in physical activities was having had more than three cancer treatments (RR: 2.14; 95% CI: 1.07–4.27).

Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a group of previously active breast cancer survivors to decrease their physical activity, gain weight, and have sedentary behavior. Specific tailored-care interventions are needed to prevent these occurrences, as overweight and physical inactivity may impose an additional risk for breast cancer recurrence and a severe course of COVID-19 in cancer patients.

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