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Health Behaviors, Readiness to Change, and Interest in Health Promotion Programs Among Smokers With Lung Cancer and Their Family Members: A Pilot Study

Cooley, Mary E. PhD, RN; Finn, Kathleen T. MSN; Wang, Qian PhD; Roper, Kristin PhD(c); Morones, Sandra BSN, RN; Shi, Ling PhD; Litrownik, Dan BA; Marcoux, J. Paul MD; Zaner, Ken MD, PhD; Hayman, Laura L. PhD, RN, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e31825e4359

Background: The diagnosis of lung cancer presents an opportunity to motivate individuals to adopt health-promoting behavior. Little attention has been given to using this opportunity to also motivate relatives to change their health behaviors.

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to describe health behaviors and readiness to change lifestyle, identify interest in health promotion programs, and examine concordance of health behaviors among smokers with lung cancer and their family members.

Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected once from 37 lung cancer patient–family member dyads. Standardized questionnaires were used to collect data. Descriptive statistics and percent agreement were used for analyses.

Results: Lung cancer patients and their family members had high rates of continued smoking (43% vs 30%), low intake of fruits and vegetables (92% vs 95%), and high rates of physical inactivity (84% vs 84%). Patients and family members indicated readiness to change behaviors within the next 6 months ranging from 63% for physical activity, 73% for diet, and 88% to quit smoking for patients and 81% for physical activity, 58% for diet, and 91% to quit smoking for family members. Interest in participating in a multiple behavioral risk reduction program was high for patients and family members.

Conclusions: The majority of patients and their family members have multiple behavioral risk factors placing them at risk for poor health outcomes.

Implications for Practice: Oncology nurses are in a unique position to provide leadership in assessing health behaviors and implementing evidence-based interventions to enhance outcomes for patient–family member dyads with lung cancer.

Author Affiliations: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Drs Cooley, Wang, and Marcoux and Ms Roper); University of Massachusetts, Boston (Drs Shi and Hayman and Ms Morones); Boston Medical Center (Ms Finn and Dr Zaner); Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Mr Litrownik), Boston, Massachusetts.

Source of support: National Cancer Institute U56 CA 118635 prepilot funding awarded to Drs Cooley and Hayman (principal investigators Karen M. Emmons and Adam Colon-Carmona) and K07 CA92696 (principal investigator Dr Cooley).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Mary E. Cooley, PhD, RN, Phyllis F. Cantor Center, Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave, LW 521, Boston, MA 02115 (

Accepted for publication May 7, 2012.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.