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Physical Activity and Posttraumatic Growth in Gynecologic Cancer Survivors Open Access


Other title
Physical activity
Posttraumatic growth
Benefit finding
Gynecologic cancer
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Crawford, Jennifer J
Supervisor and department
Courneya, Kerry (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Holt, Nick (Physical Education and Recreation)
Vallance, Jeff (Faculty of Health Disciplines)
Manns, Patricia (Rehabilitation Medicine)
Prapavessis, Harry (Kinesiology
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
2016-06:Fall 2016
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Background: Posttraumatic growth (i.e., positive psychological growth following a traumatic event) is a desired outcome of a cancer diagnosis, however, there is limited research examining interventions to foster experiences of growth. The benefits of physical activity for cancer survivors have been well documented and include improved physical functioning, symptom management, overall quality of life, decreased anxiety and depression, and possibly a lower risk of recurrence and longer survival. Few studies to date, however, have examined the potential role of physical activity in facilitating posttraumatic growth. Purpose: The purpose of my dissertation was to examine the potential role of physical activity in promoting posttraumatic growth in gynecologic cancer survivors. Methods: Study 1 was a population-based, mailed cross-sectional survey of 621 gynecologic cancer survivors diagnosed between 1986 and 2013 identified through the Alberta Cancer Registry. The survey consisted of measures of self-reported aerobic and resistance exercise, “adventure/extreme sport” participation, and posttraumatic growth. Study 2 examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a wall climbing intervention in 35 gynecologic cancer survivors. The primary outcome was feasibility and the primary efficacy outcome was posttraumatic growth as assessed by the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Results: In paper 1 from Study 1, one third (32.9%) of gynecologic cancer survivors were meeting aerobic exercise guidelines and 19.0% were meeting strength exercise guidelines. Those meeting the combined exercise guidelines reported more favorable scores for the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (p=0.014), the Negative Impact of Cancer Scale (p
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
Citation for previous publication
1. Crawford, J.J., Vallance, J., Holt, N., Bell, G., Steed. H., & Courneya, K.S. (in press). The feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an 8-week supervised wall climbing intervention in gynecologic cancer survivors: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Oncology Nursing Forum.Crawford, J.J., Vallance, J., Holt, N., & Courneya, K.S. (2016). Correlates of participation and interest in extreme sport/adventure activities in gynecologic cancer survivors. American Journal of Health Behaviour, 40, 272-81.Crawford, J.J., Holt, N., Vallance, J., & Courneya, K.S. (2015). Prevalence and interest in extreme/adventure activities among gynecologic cancer survivors: Associations with posttraumatic growth. Mental Health and Physical Activity,9, 35-40.Crawford, J.J., Vallance, J. K., Holt, N. L., & Courneya, K.S. (2015). Associations between exercise and posttraumatic growth in gynecologic cancer survivors. Supportive Care in Cancer, 23, 705-714

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