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

Clare Stevinson, Katia Tonkin, Valerie Capstick, Alexandra Schepansky, Aliya B. Ladha, Jeffrey K. Vallance, Wylam Faught, Helen Steed, Kerry S. Courneya

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


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 conducted. Measures included self-reported physical activity, medical and demographic factors, and social-cognitive variables from the theory of planned behavior (TPB). 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 TPB variables indicated that 36% of the variance in physical activity guidelines was explained, with intention being the sole independent correlate ((3 = .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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Exercise
  • Motivation
  • Neoplasm
  • Theory of planned behavior


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