Associations between exercise and posttraumatic growth in gynecologic cancer survivors

Jennifer J. Crawford, Jeff K. Vallance, Nicholas L. Holt, Kerry S. Courneya

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Exercise improves numerous psychosocial outcomes in cancer survivors; however, few studies have examined posttraumatic growth. The primary objective of this study was to examine the association between exercise and posttraumatic growth in gynecologic cancer survivors (GCS).Methods: Using the Alberta Cancer Registry, a random sample of endometrial, ovarian, and cervical cancer survivors were mailed a self-report survey that assessed demographic and medical variables, aerobic and strength exercise, and posttraumatic growth using the posttraumatic growth inventory, impact of cancer scale, and benefit finding scale.Results: Completed surveys were received from 621 (38 %) of the 1,626 eligible survivors. One-third (32.9 %) of GCS were meeting aerobic exercise guidelines and 19.0 % were meeting strength exercise guidelines. Multivariate analyses of covariance showed significant differences in the posttraumatic growth scales for aerobic exercise guidelines (p < 0.001) and combined (strength and aerobic) exercise guidelines (p < 0.001). Analyses of covariance indicated significant differences favoring those meeting the aerobic exercise guidelines for the negative impact of cancer scale (p < 0.001) and several of its subscales. Moreover, those meeting the combined exercise guidelines reported higher scores for the posttraumatic growth inventory (p = 0.014), the negative impact of cancer scale (p < 0.001), and several of their subscales compared to those meeting only one or neither guideline. Marital status moderated the association between exercise and posttraumatic growth with only unmarried GCS demonstrating the associations.Conclusion: Exercise is a modifiable lifestyle factor that is associated with posttraumatic growth in GCS. Randomized controlled trials testing the effects of exercise interventions on posttraumatic growth in this population are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-714
Number of pages10
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar. 2014

Keywords

  • Cervical cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Exercise
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Physical activity
  • Posttraumatic growth

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