The contribution of behavioral, cancer related, and psychological determinants of healthy lifestyle in cancer survivors

IM Kanera, C. Bolman, RA Willems, I. Mesters, AAJM Beaulen, JMJ Geurts, L. Lechner

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    Introduction. Healthy lifestyle is important for cancer survivors. To develop lifestyle interventions for them, insight into the predictors of vegetable-, fruit-, alcohol consumption and smoking behaviour, is needed. The study aims to describe lifestyle risk behaviours of cancer survivors and to analyse the contribution of demographic, cancer-related, psychological and social cognitive factors in explaining these behaviours. Method. Participants were 273 cancer survivors (70.7% females; mean age 60.6), treated with surgery, chemotherapy and or radiation. Participants were invited through 8 Dutch hospitals to participate in this cross-sectional study. Validated questionnaires (e.g. EORTC QLQ-C30, MAC, Brief IPQ, HADS) were administered to identify cancer-related, psychological and social cognitive determinants and to assess the lifestyle behaviours. Results. The lifestyle of a small group (11%) of the cancer survivors was coherent with all five health recommendations, the majority (>80%) adhered to two, three of four recommendations, and only few (<7%) adhered to one or none recommendation. The highest prevalence in followed recommendations have been detected in physical activity (87.5%), refrain from smoking (82.5%), and alcohol consumption (75.4%). There was low adherence to the fruit recommendation (55.6%) and to the vegetable recommendation (27.4%). Only weak associations were found between the different behaviors. Each separate lifestyle behavior was influenced by different patterns of correlates. Self-efficacy, attitude and intention were the strongest correlates in all examined behaviors, although with various contributions, while socio-demographic, cancer related and psychological factors provided a much smaller contribution. Conclusion. Outcomes of engagement in healthy lifestyle behaviors were more positive in this study compared to other research in cancer survivors, however, there is room for improvements in adherence to all five lifestyle behaviors. Especially fruit consumption was poor and vegetable consumption even worse. Our findings emphasized that all examined lifestyle behaviors need to be encouraged, with taken into account that each lifestyle behavior may be influenced by a specific set of mainly social cognitive factors or intention.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberS15
    Number of pages1
    JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
    Issue numberS1-S216
    Early online date24 Jul 2014
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
    Duration: 14 Aug 201417 Aug 2014


    • Cancer survivors
    • health behaviors
    • lifestyle


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