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Sarah Kozey Keadle, Shirley Bluethmann, Charles E. Matthews, Barry I. Graubard, and Frank M. Perna


This paper tested whether a physical activity index (PAI) that integrates PA-related behaviors (ie, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity [MVPA] and TV viewing) and performance measures (ie, cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength) improves prediction of health status.


Participants were a nationally representative sample of US adults from 2011 to 2012 NHANES. Dependent variables (self-reported health status, multimorbidity, functional limitations, and metabolic syndrome) were dichotomized. Wald-F tests tested whether the model with all PAI components had statistically significantly higher area under the curve (AUC) values than the models with behavior or performance scores alone, adjusting for covariates and complex survey design.


The AUC (95% CI) for PAI in relation to health status was 0.72 (0.68, 0.76), and PAI-AUC for multimorbidity was 0.72 (0.69, 0.75), which were significantly higher than the behavior or performance scores alone. For functional limitations, the PAI AUC was 0.71 (0.67, 0.74), significantly higher than performance, but not behavior scores, while the PAI AUC for metabolic syndrome was 0.69 (0.66, 0.73), higher than behavior but not performance scores.


These results provide empirical support that an integrated PAI may improve prediction of health and disease. Future research should examine the clinical utility of a PAI and verify these findings in prospective studies.

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Shirley M. Bluethmann, Wayne Foo, Renate M. Winkels, Scherezade K. Mama, and Kathryn H. Schmitz

Purpose: (a) To describe the relationship of multimorbidity and physical activity (PA) in cancer survivors and (b) to explore perceived disability and PA in middle-aged and older survivors. Methods: The authors analyzed the data from cancer survivors (N = 566), identified using the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry, who responded to a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System-derived questionnaire. They created age groups (e.g., 45–54 years, 55–64 years, 65–74 years, and 75 years and older) and calculated a composite score of eight common comorbidities (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease) to assess multimorbidity. Logistic regression was used to estimate the association of demographic and behavioral/clinical risk factors (e.g., multimorbidity, perceived disability, body mass index) with PA. Results: Most respondents were females (62%), older (mean age = 68 years) and represented diverse cancer sites, including breast (n = 132), colorectal (n = 102), gynecologic (n = 106), prostate (n = 111), and lung (n = 80). PA participation was mixed; 44% of survivors reported achieving >150 min of aerobic PA, but half of lung and 37% of gynecologic survivors reported no PA (0 min/week). Higher multimorbidity (odds ratio = 0.82, confidence  interval [0.69, 0.98], p < .05), obesity (odds ratio = 0.51, confidence  interval [0.30, 0.86], p < .05), and perceived disability (odds ratio = 0.49, confidence  interval [0.32, 0.77], p < .001) were negatively associated with PA participation. Strength training was suboptimal across all survivors. Conclusion: Most older survivors experienced comorbid conditions, and this was associated with less PA. Survivors who perceived themselves as disabled or who were obese were half as likely as others to participate in PA. This suggests an increasing need to address both physical and psychological limitations in designing PA interventions for real-world needs. Exercise interventions that address the unique needs of older survivors for multimorbidity, obesity, and perceived disability may strengthen opportunities for PA.

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Shirley M. Bluethmann, Eileen Flores, Meghan Grotte, Jared Heitzenrater, Cristina I. Truica, Nancy J. Olsen, Christopher Sciamanna, and Kathryn H. Schmitz

Physical activity (PA) promotes survival and mitigates symptoms in older breast cancer survivors (BCS), especially to reduce joint pain associated with adjuvant hormonal treatment. The purpose is to describe the adaptation process for an evidence-based exercise and education curriculum (i.e., Fit & Strong!) to support older BCS participating in the Using Exercise to Relieve Joint Pain and Improve Aromatase Inhibitor Adherence in Older Breast Cancer Survivors trial. We reviewed all educational materials with scientific/clinical experts to identify necessary content changes. Next, we conducted semistructured phone interviews with BCS to review all educational materials and conducted a real-time pretest for the trial. Overall, BCS found the adapted materials and experience acceptable (mean score of 9.2/10 for satisfaction). Content changes included simplifying exercise instructions, prioritizing content related to the trial goals, and updating photographs. Because of COVID, the pretest was conducted via Zoom. Our multistep adaptation process provided an acceptable intervention to meet the needs of older BCS. Lessons learned will be applied to the forthcoming pilot trial.