Relationship between exercise pattern across the cancer experience and current quality of life in colorectal cancer survivors

J Altern Complement Med. 1997 Fall;3(3):215-26. doi: 10.1089/acm.1997.3.215.


The purpose of this study was to identify the main exercise patterns of colorectal cancer survivors across the cancer experience and determine their relationship with current quality of life (QOL). Participants were 130 colorectal cancer survivors who were diagnosed within the previous 4 years and had received adjuvant treatment. Each participant completed a mailed, self-administered questionnaire that assessed exercise behavior at three time points (prediagnosis, active treatment, posttreatment), current QOL (physical, functional, emotional, social), and overall satisfaction with life (SWL). Colorectal cancer survivors exhibited four main exercise patterns across the cancer experience which were labeled maintainers (active at all three time points), temporary relapsers (active prediagnosis, inactive during treatment, active posttreatment), permanent relapsers (active prediagnosis, inactive during treatment, inactive posttreatment), and nonexercisers (inactive at all three time points). Statistical analyses showed that: (a) functional QOL was the least possessed but most important QOL dimension underlying overall SWL, (b) exercise levels decreased from prediagnosis to active treatment and then increased from active treatment to posttreatment but not back to prediagnosis levels, and (c) permanent relapsers reported the lowest QOL of the four main exercise patterns. It was concluded that cancer treatment has a negative impact on exercise levels and that those previously active individuals who fail to reinitiate exercise after cancer treatment experience the lowest QOL 1 to 4 years later. Findings are discussed in reference to previous research along with suggestions for future research, practical implications, and limitations of the study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alberta
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies