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Prevalence and Correlates of Strength Exercise Among Breast, Prostate, and Colorectal Cancer Survivors

Cynthia C. Forbes
Chris M. Blanchard
W. Kerry Mummery
Kerry S. Courneya
ONF 2015, 42(2), 118-127 DOI: 10.1188/15.ONF.42-02AP

Purpose/Objectives: To identify and compare the prevalence and correlates of strength exercise among breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer survivors.

Design: Cross-sectional, descriptive survey.

Setting: Nova Scotia, Canada.

Sample: 741 breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer survivors.

Methods: A stratified sample of 2,063 breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer survivors diagnosed from 2003–2011 were identified and mailed a questionnaire. Descriptive, chi-square, and logistic regression analyses were used to determine any correlations among the main research variables.

Main Research Variables: Strength exercise behavior; medical, demographic, and motivational correlates using the Theory of Planned Behavior.

Findings: Of 741 respondents, 23% were meeting the strength exercise guidelines of two or more days per week. Cancer survivors were more likely to meet guidelines if they were younger, more educated, had a higher income, better perceived general health, fewer than two comorbidities, and a healthy body weight. In addition, those meeting guidelines had significantly more favorable affective attitude, instrumental attitude, injunctive norm, perceived behavioral control, planning, and intention. The correlates of strength exercise did not differ by cancer site.

Conclusions: The prevalence of strength exercise is low among breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer survivors in Nova Scotia and the correlates are consistent across those survivor groups.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses should take an active role in promoting strength exercise among cancer survivors using the Theory of Planned Behavior, particularly among those survivors at higher risk of not performing strength exercise.

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