Recruitment to the "Breast-Activity and Healthy Eating After Diagnosis" (B-AHEAD) Randomized Controlled Trial.
Pegington M., Adams JE., Bundred NJ., Campbell AM., Howell A., Howell SJ., Speed S., Wolstenholme J., Harvie MN.
Excess weight at breast cancer diagnosis and weight gain during treatment are linked to increased breast cancer specific and all-cause mortality. The Breast-Activity and Healthy Eating After Diagnosis (B-AHEAD) trial tested 2 weight loss diet and exercise programmes versus a control receiving standard written advice during adjuvant treatment. This article identifies differences in characteristics between patients recruited from the main trial site to those of the whole population from that site during the recruitment period and identifies barriers to recruitment. A total of 409 patients with operable breast cancer were recruited within 12 weeks of surgery. We compared demographic and treatment factors between women recruited from the main trial coordinating site (n = 300) to the whole breast cancer population in the center (n = 532). Uptake at the coordinating site was 42%, comparable to treatment trials in the unit (47%). Women recruited were younger (55.9 vs 61.2 years, P < .001), more likely to live in least deprived postcode areas (41.7% vs 31.6%, P = .004), and more likely to have screen-detected cancers (55.3% vs 48.7%, P = .026) than the whole breast cancer population. The good uptake highlights the interest in lifestyle change around the time of diagnosis, a challenging time in the patient pathway, and shows that recruitment at this time is feasible. Barriers to uptake among older women and women with a lower socioeconomic status should be understood and overcome in order to improve recruitment to future lifestyle intervention programs.