Acceptance- and mindfulness-based techniques for physical activity promotion in breast cancer survivors: a qualitative study

Michael C. Robertson, Emily Cox-Martin, Yue Liao, Sara A. Flores, Ross Shegog, Christine M. Markham, Kayo Fujimoto, Casey P. Durand, Abenaa Brewster, Elizabeth J. Lyons, Karen M. Basen-Engquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop and characterize the relevance and potential utility of an electronically delivered acceptance- and mindfulness-based approaches to physical activity promotion for insufficiently active breast cancer survivors. Methods: The acceptance- and mindfulness-based physical activity intervention was delivered to participants electronically over the course of 4–8 weeks. It consisted of didactic videos, experiential exercises, and workbook-type activities that targeted principles from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with participants after they completed the intervention. Three coders conducted qualitative data analysis on interview transcripts to identify overarching themes and subthemes. Results: We recruited 30 participants. Of those, 16 engaged in an individual interview. The mean age of the sample was 58.4 years (SD = 13.8). The sample was relatively well educated (50.0% college graduates) and mostly overweight or obese (58.8%). We identified two overarching themes from interviews. They were centered on (1) internal and external barriers to physical activity adherence and (2) the utility of targeting core ACT processes (acceptance and defusion, mindfulness, and values clarification) for physical activity promotion. Conclusion: Intervention content was perceived to be acceptable, relevant, and to fulfill important needs related to healthy living. Findings suggest that this approach to physical activity promotion can be delivered effectively online. Electronically delivered acceptance- and mindfulness-based approaches hold promise for helping insufficiently active breast cancer survivors increase physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-473
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Cancer survivors
  • Exercise
  • Mindfulness
  • Oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Acceptance- and mindfulness-based techniques for physical activity promotion in breast cancer survivors: a qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this