Social cognitive factors and intention strongest correlates of healthy lifestyle behavior among early cancer survivors


  • I.M. Kanera
  • C.A.W. Bolman
  • I. Mesters
  • R.A. Willems
  • A.A. Beaulen
  • L. Lechner


Background: While a healthy lifestyle is beneficial for cancer survivors, adherence to recommendations is low. We assessed the contribution of distal (socio-demographic, cancer-related, psychological), and proximal factors (attitude, social support, self-efficacy), and intention in explaining smoking, physical activity, alcohol, fruit, and vegetable consumption. Methods: Cancer survivors (N = 255; 70.7% females; mean age 60.6 years) participated in this cross-sectional survey. Findings: Higher fruit consumption was only correlated with a stronger intention (B=56; R2 = .574). Higher vegetable consumption was correlated with a stronger intention (B=37.22) and longer period after cancer treatment (B=1.06; R2 = .440). Adherence to fruit (54.8%) and vegetable (27.4%) recommendations was lowest of all behaviors and mutual correlation was weak (rs= .24, p < .001). Strongest correlates of other lifestyle behaviors were self-efficacy and attitude. Unhealthy behaviors were correlated with lower adherence to the fruit recommendation. Discussion: Vegetable and fruit consumption are most urgent to change and should be considered as different behaviors. The proximal factors most strongly contributed to explain lifestyle behaviors among cancer survivors.





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