Rural and small town breast cancer survivors' preferences for physical activity

Jeff Vallance, Celeste Lavallee, Nicole Culos-Reed, Marc Trudeau

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recent data suggests that only 35 % of rural and small town breast cancer survivors are achieving physical activity (PA) guidelines after treatment. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine preferences for PA counseling and programming and barriers to program participation in a sample of rural and small town breast cancer survivors. Methods: Survivors (n = 524) residing in rural and small town areas of Alberta, Canada completed a mailed self-report survey that assessed demographic variables, PA, and PA counseling and programming preferences. Results: Seventy-eight percent of survivors indicated they would have possibly (i.e., yes or maybe) been interested in being counseled about PA at the time of diagnosis, while 70 % would possibly be interested in being counseled about PA at this current time. Overall, 85 % felt they would possibly be able to participate in a PA program. Receiving chemotherapy was negatively associated with wanting to receive PA counseling (odds ratio [OR] = 0.58; 95 % confidence interval [CI], 0.39 to 0.86), PA program interest (OR = 0.43; 95 % CI, 0.28 to 0.67), and PA program ability (OR = 0.44; 95 % CI, 0.26 to 0.75). Preferred activities involved walking (51 %), flexibility and related activities (e.g., yoga, stretching) (36 %), and strength training (27 %). Conclusions: Rural and small town survivors appear to be interested in and able to participate in PA counseling and programs. PA initiatives targeted to the preferences of breast cancer survivors living in nonurban areas may be more likely to facilitate and maintain PA behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-528
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec. 2013


  • Breast cancer survivors
  • Physical activity
  • Physical activity counseling
  • Physical activity preferences
  • Rural and small town


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