Background: Supervised physical activity interventions improve functional health during cancer survivorship, but remain costly and inaccessible for many. We previously reported on the benefits of a DVD-delivered physical activity program (FlexToBa™) in older adults. This is a secondary analysis of the intervention effects among cancer survivors in the original sample. Methods: Low active, older adults who self-reported a history of cancer (N = 46; M time since diagnosis = 10.7 ± 9.4 years) participated in a 6-month, home-based physical activity intervention. Participants were randomized to either the DVD-delivered physical activity program focused on flexibility, toning, and balance (FlexToBa™; n = 22) or an attentional control condition (n = 24). Physical function was assessed by the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) at baseline, end of intervention, and at 12 and 24 months after baseline. Results: Repeated measures linear mixed models indicated a significant group*time interaction for the SPPB total score (β = − 1.14, p = 0.048), driven by improved function from baseline to six months in the FlexToBa™ group. The intervention group also had improved balance (β = − 0.56, p = 0.041) compared with controls. Similar trends emerged for the SPPB total score during follow-up; the group*time interaction from 0 to 12 months approached significance (β = − 0.97, p = 0.089) and was significant from 0 to 24 months (β = − 1.84, p = 0.012). No significant interactions emerged for other outcomes (ps > 0.11). Conclusions: A DVD-delivered physical activity intervention designed for cancer-free older adults was capable of eliciting and maintaining clinically meaningful functional improvements in a subgroup of cancer survivors, with similar effects to the original full sample. These findings inform the dissemination of evidence-based physical activity programs during survivorship. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.govNCT01030419.

Original languageEnglish
Article number870
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Cancer
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity
  • Physical function
  • Survivorship
  • Telerehabilitation


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