Feasibility of Institutional Registry-Based Recruitment for Enrolling Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer Patients in an Exercise Trial

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using a tumor registry to recruit newly diagnosed survivors into a randomized controlled exercise trial and to discuss issues related to this recruitment strategy.


A tumor registry-based rapid ascertainment system was used to recruit breast cancer survivors into a 6-month home-based, telephone-administered intervention of moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise or a usual care group.


468 newly diagnosed cases were identified. Of these, 50 women (15.4% of those for which screening calls were made) were enrolled in the study. Women were randomized, on average, 11 weeks after diagnosis (SD = 4.8). Sixty-four percent were randomized before beginning treatment or within the first week of treatment. Time required to obtain physician consent was the primary determinant of diagnosis-to-randomization latency. Enrolled women were more likely than nonenrolled women to be non-Hispanic White and to have a college degree (P < .05).


Tumor registries present a feasible means of recruiting breast cancer survivors before or early in adjuvant treatment. The success of recruiting survivors promptly after diagnosis is largely dependent on ability to rapidly obtain physician consent. Specific effort is needed to counteract self-selection effects that may lead to under-representation of minorities.

Cadmus Bertram is with the Dept of Cancer Prevention, Moores UCSD Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego. Chung is with the Dept of Medical Oncology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Yu and Irwin are with the Dept of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT. Salovey is with the Dept of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT.