A population-based study of the determinants of physical activity in ovarian cancer survivors

J Phys Act Health. 2009 May;6(3):339-46. doi: 10.1123/jpah.6.3.339.


Background: Regular physical activity is associated with quality of life and other health-related outcomes in ovarian cancer survivors, but participation rates are low. This study investigated the determinants of physical activity in ovarian cancer survivors.

Methods: A population-based, cross-sectional, mailed survey of ovarian cancer survivors in Alberta, Canada, was performed. Measures included self-reported physical activity, medical and demographic factors, and social cognitive variables from the Theory of Planned Behavior.

Results: A total of 359 women participated (51.4% response rate), of whom 112 (31.1%) were meeting physical activity guidelines. Variables associated with meeting guidelines were younger age, higher education and income, being employed, lower body mass index, absence of arthritis, longer time since diagnosis, earlier disease stage, and being disease-free. Analysis of the Theory of Planned Behavior variables indicated that 36% of the variance in physical activity guidelines was explained, with intention being the sole independent correlate (?=.56; P < .001).

Conclusion: Various demographic and medical factors can help identify ovarian cancer survivors at risk for physical inactivity. Interventions should attempt to increase physical activity intentions in this population by focusing on instrumental and affective attitudes as well as perceptions of control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alberta
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors*