Goal Adjustment, Physical and Sedentary Activity, and Well-Being and Health Among Breast Cancer Survivors

Psychooncology. 2013 Mar;22(3):581-9. doi: 10.1002/pon.3037. Epub 2012 Jan 29.


Objective: This longitudinal study examined whether goal adjustment capacities (i.e., goal disengagement and goal reengagement) would predict breast cancer survivors' emotional well-being and physical health by facilitating high levels of physical activity and low levels of sedentary activity.

Methods: Self-reports of goal adjustment capacities were measured among 176 female breast cancer survivors at baseline. Self-reports of physical activity, sedentary activity, daily affect, and daily physical health symptoms (e.g., nausea or pain) were measured at baseline and 3-month follow-up.

Results: Goal reengagement predicted high levels of positive affect and low levels of physical symptoms at baseline and increases in positive affect over 3 months. The combination of high goal disengagement and high goal reengagement was associated with particularly large 3-month increases in positive affect. The effects of goal reengagement on baseline affect and physical health were mediated by high baseline levels of physical activity, and the interaction effect on 3-month changes in positive affect was mediated by low baseline levels of sedentary activity.

Conclusions: Goal adjustment capacities can exert beneficial effects on breast cancer survivors' well-being and physical health by facilitating adaptive levels of physical and sedentary activity. Integrating goal adjustment processes into clinical practice may be warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Female
  • Goals*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Survivors / psychology*