To assess the feasibility of a mentored home-based vegetable gardening intervention among Breast Cancer Survivors (BCS) residing in the Birmingham, Alabama metropolitan area. Methods: Using a wait-list control design, BCS were randomized to either a year-long vegetable gardening intervention or a wait-list control. Intervention participants were provided with necessary supplies and paired with a Master Gardener from the Cooperative Extension. Master Gardeners mentored participants in planning, planting, and maintaining 3 seasonal gardens over 12 months, conducted monthly home-visits, and checked in bi-weekly via telephone or email. Feasibility assessment criteria consisted of participant accrual, retention, and satisfaction rates of ≥80%. Target participant accrual was 100. Participant satisfaction data were collected after study completion via structured telephone debriefing. Descriptive statistics were conducted using SPSS V24. Results: 82 BCS (Mage = 60 (39–84); Msurvivorship = 5 years (0.5–23); Mco-morbidities = 3.5 (0–12); ≥2 functional limitations = 86.6%; Caucasian = 73.2%; African-American = 26.8%) enrolled (82% accrual). Of these, four did not complete the study (2 refused to be wait-listed due to not wanting to wait to garden, 1 withdrew due to family obligations, and 1 was lost to follow-up), resulting in an retention rate of 95% over a 1-year period. All BCS who completed the intervention (n = 42) rated their Harvest for Health experience as “Good to Excellent”, reported that they would “do it again”, and planned to “continue to garden.” When asked to rate, on a scale of 1–10 (1 = not at all and 10 = very much), the influence of gardening on motivating behavior change, BCS reported that gardening motivated them to… “eat a healthier diet” (M = 8.38; SD = 2.07), “eat more vegetables” (M = 8.43; SD = 2.08), and “be more physically active” (M = 7.5; SD = 2.73). Conclusions: The vegetable gardening intervention proved to be feasible and provided new knowledge about the influence of gardening on motivating behavior change among BCS. Findings suggest that a mentored home-based vegetable gardening may offer an integrative approach to improve diet, vegetable consumption, and physical activity among BCS. Larger, future studies are warranted.
The following are the 17 highest scoring abstracts of those submitted for presentation at the 42nd Annual ASPO meeting held March 11–13, 2018, in New York, NY.