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Identification and Evaluation of the Salient Physical Activity Beliefs of Colorectal Cancer Survivors

Speed-Andrews, Amy E. PhD; McGowan, Erin L. PhD; Rhodes, Ryan E. PhD; Blanchard, Chris M. PhD; Culos-Reed, S. Nicole PhD; Friedenreich, Christine M. PhD; Courneya, Kerry S. PhD

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e3182813972

Background: Physical activity (PA) has been associated with lower risk of disease recurrence and longer survival in colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors; however, less than one-third of CRC survivors are meeting PA guidelines. Interventions to promote PA in CRC survivors need to understand the most critical beliefs that influence PA behavior.

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the strength of associations between the most common PA beliefs of CRC survivors and motivational constructs from the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as well as PA behavior.

Intervention/Methods: Colorectal cancer survivors (n = 600) residing in Alberta, Canada, completed self-report questionnaires assessing medical and demographic variables, PA beliefs, constructs from the TPB, and PA behavior.

Results: Colorectal cancer survivors identified improved fitness (69.5%), family members (67.3%), and medical/health problems (8.8%) as the most prevalent behavioral, normative, and control beliefs, respectively. All PA beliefs were significantly correlated with all TPB constructs and PA.

Conclusions: Physical activity interventions for CRC survivors should target many salient beliefs including behavioral, normative, and control beliefs.

Implications for Practice: Insights into the salient beliefs for PA in CRC survivors can guide nurses in developing successful strategies to promote PA in this population and likely improve quality of life and possibly disease outcomes.

Author Affiliations: Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton (Drs Speed-Andrews, McGowan, and Courneya); School of Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education, University of Victoria, British Columbia (Dr Rhodes); Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (Dr Blanchard); and Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Alberta (Dr Culos-Reed); and Department of Population Health Research, Alberta Health Services–Cancer Care (Dr Friedenreich), Calgary, Canada.

This study was funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Seed Grant in Physical Activity, Sport, and Health. Dr McGowan is supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (grant 700019). Drs Blanchard and Courneya are supported by the Canada Research Chairs Program. Dr Friedenreich is supported by a Health Senior Scholar Award from Alberta Innovates Health Solutions.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Amy E. Speed-Andrews, PhD, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, E-488 Van Vliet Center, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2H9 (

Accepted for publication November 28, 2012.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins