Social cognitive determinants of exercise and quality of life for breast cancer survivors

Helen Milne

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    481 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] Previously, research has demonstrated that cancer patients and survivors, through participation in moderate intensity exercise, can achieve significant reductions in disease and adjuvant treatment morbidities. Of concern, is that current research findings have shown that cancer survivors are not exercising at levels sufficient enough to attain health benefits, yet the reasons for this behaviour pattern are not well understood. Therefore the research in this thesis has been conducted from the perspective of Self-Determination Theory (SDT) in order to examine the exercise motivations of Western Australian breast cancer survivors, and the impact that these motivations had on exercise behaviour and quality of life (QOL) outcomes. … Strong positive correlations were observed between the exercise regulations and the psychological needs across all 58 participants at baseline and weeks 12 and 24. Significant time by group interactions were demonstrated for all psychological needs variables and exercise regulations except for amotivation. Furthermore, from baseline to week 12, the IEG demonstrated improvements on psychological needs with corresponding significantly more self-determined exercise regulations. Conversely, no changes were observed for the DEG. From week 12 until week 24, the DEG demonstrated significant increases in perceived psychological needs and reported more self-determined exercise regulations. Psychological needs and exercise regulations measured at baseline did not predict adherence to the exercise programme. Overall, SDT assisted in explaining the motivation / exercise relationship for cancer survivors. Perceived autonomy and competence positively influence the development of identified and intrinsic motivations, which are significant factors for the adoption and maintenance of an exercise programme. Identification of these factors, as well as determining patients? readiness to exercise, will assist in the development of future exercise programmes. Of importance, is that these programmes should be tailored to an individual?s needs and well-being. Increased exercise levels may reduce the impact of treatment morbidities for cancer patients and survivors, as well as improve their QOL. Recommendations from this research are provided for health professionals, whilst recommendations for future research are also offered.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


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