The impact of a meditative movement practice intervention on short- and long-term changes in physical activity among breast cancer survivors

Erica G. Soltero, Dara L. James, Seung Yong Han, Linda K. Larkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Tai Chi Easy (TCE) is a low-impact, meditative movement practice that is feasible for breast cancer survivors, even in the face of post-treatment symptoms, and may even serve as a gateway into developing an active lifestyle and improving overall physical activity (PA). In the context of a randomized controlled trial testing effects of an 8-week TCE intervention on breast cancer survivors’ symptoms, we examined the short- (8-week) and long-term (9-month) impact on total PA compared to an educational control group. Methods: Participants were recruited from two hospital systems, local community organizations, and different media platforms. Eligible participants were predominant non-Hispanic White (82%), college educated (92%), and middle- to high-income (65%), and most commonly reported stage 1 (40%) or 2 breast cancer (38%). After baseline assessments, participants were randomized to the 8-week TCE intervention (N=51) or education control (N=53). Weekly intervention TCE classes were led by a trained instructor. Weekly educational control classes focused on a series of readings and group discussions. Total PA and steps were objectively measured via accelerometry, and the international physical activity questionnaire was used to measure self-reported total PA. Results: Multilevel mixed-effects linear regression models revealed no significant short- or long-term changes in objectively measured total PA or steps in either group; however, participants in the intervention reported short- and long-term changes in self-reported total PA. Conclusions: TCE is an appropriate PA strategy for survivors that may lead to modest improvements in PA; however, more research is needed to examine the long-term impact on PA as well as other physical and psychological outcomes (i.e., flexibility, mobility, stress). Implications for Cancer Survivors: Low-impact, low-intensity activities like meditative movement practices are needed to assist survivors in overcoming post-treatment physical and psychological limitations to initiate a more active lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Cancer survivorship
  • Community health
  • Physical activity
  • Tai Chi Easy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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