Young Adult Cancer Survivors, Physical Activity and Health

  • Author / Creator
    Belanger, Lisa J
  • The purpose of this dissertation was to identify the key preferences, determinants of physical activity (PA), and sports participation in young adult cancer survivors (YACS) and then use this information to develop a theory-based, PA behavior change intervention. To achieve this aim, my dissertation comprises of three studies. A cross-sectional survey designed to identify the preferences, determinants and sports association to PA in a population-based sample of 588 young adult cancer survivors. The majority of YACS indicated they were able and willing to participate in a program to increase PA, preferred to do PA with others, in their communities and receive information about PA 3-6 months post diagnosis by brochure/print material. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) explained 38% of variance with intention being the strongest independent correlate to PA. Planning, affective attitude, general health, education also had independent contributions. Perceived behavioral control (PBC) was the strongest predictor of intention. Approximately one third (32.5%) of YACS participated in sport in the last month with the most common reported sports: golf, hockey and tennis. Sport participation had a positive correlation to psychosocial variables and quality of life (QoL) scores. Based on these results and directed by the TPB a PA guidebook for YACS was developed and evaluated by experts in TPB, exercise oncology, health informatics, oncology, and YACS. These evaluations directed further changes to the guidebook. This guidebook (TPAG) was compared to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (CPAG) in a randomized control trial of 212 YACS. The TPAG did not increase PA minutes in the overall sample of YACS. Due to the very active sample, a separate analysis was conducted for YACS reporting less than 300 minutes of PA/week. At three months, the TPAG group reported a significant 90 minutes of PA/week more than the CPAG group. As predicted, the TPAG did not affect the TPB variables of the overall sample. The TPAG did however affect affective attitude, PBC and descriptive norms at three month follow up of YACS reporting less than 300 minutes of PA/week. Overall, the results suggest that the TPAG is superior to a generic PA recommendation to the less active YACS.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. 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.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Courneya, Kerry Physical Education and Recreation
    • Rabin, Carolyn Behavioral & Preventive Medicine, Brown University
    • Olson, Karin Faculty of Nursing
    • Clark, Alex Faculty of Nursing
    • Mummery, Kerry Physical Education and Recreation