Development and Test of an Intervention to Increase Exercise among Breast Cancer Survivors
Most breast cancer survivors do not exercise enough to experience its numerous benefits that include improved quality of life and decreased recurrence risk. A potentially effective strategy to increase exercise among this population is to increase their outcome expectations (OEs). OEs are what one expects to obtain or avoid by engaging in a behavior. OE dimensions include 1) importance - value placed on the outcome(s); 2) certainty - perceived probability outcome(s) will occur; and 3) accessibility - frequency with which outcome(s) are considered. The purpose of this dissertation is to develop knowledge on the impact of OEs on exercise in breast cancer survivors. This is achieved through three independent studies. First, an exploratory study to identify common OEs among breast cancer survivors. Secondly, through a measurement study, in which a scale is created and pilot tested to measure OE dimensions. Finally, an intervention is created in collaboration with active breast cancer survivors and pilot tested in a randomized controlled trial among 60 breast cancer survivors. Findings from this dissertation indicate that breast cancer survivors are overwhelmingly unaware of the extent to which exercise can benefit them. Fortunately, findings from this dissertation also indicate that the tested strategy to increase OEs is both feasible and effective among breast cancer survivors. Finally, this dissertation contributes a measure to assess intervention effects on multiple OE dimensions. In summary, findings from this dissertation indicate that targeting OEs is an effective strategy to improve the quality and duration of breast cancer survivorship and future work in this area is warranted.
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