Health behaviors and perceptions of cancer survivors harvesting at an urban garden

Am J Health Behav. 2015 Mar;39(2):257-66. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.39.2.12.


Objectives: To gather information about perceptions of personal health behavior change in cancer survivors following participation in an urban gardening program.

Methods: This qualitative study used focus groups of adult cancer survivors with an open-ended question thread format. Data were transcribed and analyzed by identifying, coding, and categorizing primary patterns/themes.

Results: Four overarching themes were identified: (1) greater dietary intake of produce; (2) improved mental and physical health; (3) enhanced sense of community and social support; and (4) challenges to long-term maintenance.

Conclusions: Perceptions of positive behavior changes associated with harvesting at an urban garden targeting cancer survivors may inform future community and health promotion interventions aimed at improving adherence to evidence-based lifestyle behavior guidelines for cancer survivorship.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Crops, Agricultural
  • Diet / psychology*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Gardening*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Support*
  • Survivors / psychology
  • Urban Population