Examining Contributors to Intent to Continue Exercising in Patients With Cancer in Rehabilitation

Megan C. Taschner

Rachel Piero

Christine N. Broomhall

Anne R. Crecelius

rehabilitation, survivorship, exercise, Theory of Planned Behavior, oncology
CJON 2022, 26(1), 78-85. DOI: 10.1188/22.CJON.78-85

Background: Exercise is physiologically and psychologically beneficial to cancer survivors, leading to an increase in supervised exercise programs targeting this population. However, more than half of survivors who are offered a supervised exercise program do not complete it.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine which factors influence survivors’ decisions to continue exercising in or outside of a supervised exercise program using the theory of planned behavior (TPB).

Methods: Survivors who graduated from an oncology rehabilitation program at a community hospital in the Midwest within a six-month period completed a survey on the TPB items of intention, perceived behavior control, attitude, and subjective norm, as well as demographic information.

Findings: Participation in the oncology rehabilitation program demonstrated significant improvements in health and well-being. Bivariate analysis revealed that attitude and subjective norm were significantly related to and more important than perceived behavior control in survivors’ intention to exercise. Oncology rehabilitation programs can foster more positive attitudes toward exercise and encourage participant renewal.

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