Correlates of physical activity among lung cancer survivors

Psychooncology. 2009 Apr;18(4):395-404. doi: 10.1002/pon.1520.


Objective: Lung cancer survivors commonly experience impairments in quality of life, which may be improved through regular physical activity. However, little is known regarding correlates of physical activity in this survivor population. The current study addressed this research gap.

Methods: The participants were 175 survivors of early-stage non-small cell lung cancer who completed surgical treatment from 1 to 6 years previously. Information regarding medical factors was obtained from chart records and from participant self-report. Participants also answered questions about demographic and social cognitive factors that may be associated with physical activity, which was assessed as reported engagement in moderate/strenuous activities and leisurely walking.

Results: Participants reported an average of 77.7 min of moderate/strenuous weekly activity and 64.6% reported engaging in leisurely walking at least three times per week. Less leisurely walking was reported by older individuals (p=0.001) and those with a lower education level (p<0.001), who also reported less engagement in moderate/strenuous activities (p=0.004). Individuals with poorer pre-operative pulmonary function reported less moderate/strenuous physical activity (p=0.014) and the number of surgical complications was inversely associated with leisurely walking (p=0.003). Multiple social cognitive constructs were associated with moderate/strenuous activity and leisurely walking.

Conclusions: The study identified several lung cancer survivor subgroups who may be most in need of physical activity interventions. Identification of social cognitive correlates of physical activity provides valuable information regarding theory-guided constructs that should be targeted in future physical activity interventions for lung cancer survivors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*