Objective: To examine the associations between physical activity and quality of life for colorectal cancer survivors; and to describe the associations of medical and sociodemographic attributes with overall quality of life, and their moderating effects on the relationships between physical activity and quality of life.
Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted with 1,996 colorectal cancer survivors recruited through the Queensland Cancer Registry. Data were collected on current quality of life; leisure-time physical activity pre- and post-diagnosis; cancer treatment and side-effects; and general sociodemographic attributes. Hierarchical generalized linear models identified variables significantly associated with quality of life.
Results: After controlling for sociodemographic variables, disease-specific variables, treatment side-effects, and pre-diagnosis leisure-time physical activity, there were significant differences in quality of life scores by post-diagnosis physical activity category. Compared to participants who were inactive after their diagnosis, those who were sufficiently active had a 17.0% higher total quality of life score. Physical activity also had a significant independent positive association with the physical well-being, functional well-being, and additional concerns subscales of the FACT-C.
Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that quite modest changes in leisure-time physical activity are associated with quality of life. Colorectal cancer survivors may benefit from a more active lifestyle.