Associations between physical activity and quality of life in ovarian cancer survivors

Gynecol Oncol. 2007 Jul;106(1):244-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2007.03.033. Epub 2007 May 9.


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of physical activity in ovarian cancer survivors and to determine if there is a dose-response relationship between physical activity and quality of life.

Methods: Ovarian cancer survivors identified from a Canadian provincial cancer registry were mailed a questionnaire measuring self-reported leisure time physical activity (Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire), cancer-specific quality of life (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Ovarian), and standard demographic and medical variables.

Results: Completed questionnaires were received from 359 (51.4%) participants. Analyses indicated that 31.1% were meeting public health physical activity guidelines (i.e., at least 60 min of strenuous or 150 min of moderate/strenuous physical activity per week). Comparisons using different volumes of physical activity showed support for the current guidelines. Specifically, participants meeting current physical activity guidelines reported significantly better quality of life than those not meeting guidelines [mean difference: 12.5; 95% CI: 9.1 to 16.0; p<0.001; d=0.75]. Disease status was the only variable to moderate this association. Adjusting for important demographic and medical variables did not alter the findings.

Conclusions: Few ovarian cancer survivors are meeting public health physical activity guidelines, but those that are meeting guidelines report significantly and meaningfully better quality of life. Clinical trials investigating the causal effects of physical activity on quality of life in ovarian cancer survivors are warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alberta / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / psychology
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires