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How social cognitive theory can help oncology-based health professionals promote physical activity among breast cancer survivors
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Camille Short, E James, R Plotnikoff
The majority of post treatment breast cancer survivors do not engage in physical activity (PA) at the recommended level. The promotion of PA among this group has the potential to dramatically improve quality of life and health outcomes. To maximise effectiveness, programs should be theory-based and address key determinants of PA behaviour. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) has shown particular promise for developing and guiding PA interventions, but future research regarding how each SCT construct relates to PA among this group is needed. This study aims to explore how core SCT constructs impact on PA participation among post treatment breast cancer survivors, and gain greater insights into how to shape PA program strategies that will be appealing and effective for this group. METHODS: Post treatment breast cancer survivors were recruited from the Breast Cancer Network Australia's review and survey group. Semi-structured telephone interviews examined PA patterns and SCT constructs and data were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Eight post treatment breast cancer survivors participated in the study. Changes in activity level since diagnosis were common; in most cases this reflected a decline in PA. Key social cognitive and environmental influences on PA were described under the following themes: knowledge, outcome expectations, self-efficacy and personal, behavioural and environment facilitators and inhibitors. CONCLUSION: The results of this study demonstrate the utility of SCT for guiding PA programs. Insight into how social cognitive factors may influence PA behaviour in this group is offered and direction for how oncology-based health professionals can promote PA among breast cancer survivors is provided.