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Title: The role of illness perceptions and exercise beliefs in exercise engagement during treatment for cancer.
Austin Authors: Cole, Siân F;Skaczkowski, Gemma ;Wilson, Carlene J 
Affiliation: Department of Rural Health, Allied Health and Human Performance, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
School of Psychology, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia
Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre
School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
Issue Date: Sep-2021
Date: 2021-02-16
Publication information: Supportive Care in Cancer 2021; 29(9): 5065-5073
Abstract: This study examined whether exercise beliefs and illness perceptions were associated with changes in exercise behaviour following a cancer diagnosis. This study uses a cross-sectional survey of 366 adults with a diagnosis of cancer, who were currently receiving treatment. The main outcome measures are symptom severity, pre- and post-morbid exercise levels, exercise beliefs, and illness perceptions. The majority of participants decreased their level of exercise after diagnosis (Decreasers; 58.1%). Approximately a third increased participation (Increasers; 30.4%) and a small group maintained (Maintainers; 9.2%) their pre-diagnosis exercise levels. After controlling for symptom severity and time since cancer diagnosis, Decreasers reported lower Self-Efficacy for exercise, higher levels of belief in the Negative Impact on Cancer of exercise, lower levels of Personal Control, and less Emotional Representation of their illness, than Increasers. Decreasers also reported lower levels of Self-Efficacy for exercise than Maintainers. The results suggest that identifying unhelpful beliefs about the relationship between exercise and illness during cancer treatment and improving confidence and control of exercise through psycho-educational intervention could be an effective strategy for preventing cancer patients decreasing exercise following their diagnosis.
DOI: 10.1007/s00520-021-06055-6
ORCID: 0000-0003-3244-3909
Journal: Supportive Care in Cancer
PubMed URL: 33594512
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Beliefs
Illness perceptions
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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