Endometrial cancer survivors are more likely to complete physical activity, and for longer durations, when their daily self-efficacy is higher, according to a study published online in the journal Health Psychology - a publication of the American Psychology Association.
"Sedentary behavior is associated with increased cancer risk, including endometrial cancer," said Karen Basen-Engquist, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Behavioral Science at MD Anderson and lead investigator on the study. "When cancer survivors exercise, it not only improves their physical functioning and psychological well-being, but also reduces their risk of developing other types of cancer or other chronic diseases."
In this study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, information was collected from 100 endometrial cancer survivors to measure self-efficacy -a person's belief in her ability to complete tasks and reach goals - and exercise duration. Additionally, researchers conducted routine laboratory cardiorespiratory fitness assessments of the participants. Researchers studied the relationship between self-efficacy and exercise behaviors over six months.
Self-efficacy was measured two ways. Study participants carried hand-held computers and every morning recorded their self-efficacy, or confidence, in completing recommended exercise, and also used the computer to record how long they exercised. They completed questionnaires every two months to measure self-efficacy.
A one point increase in self-efficacy led to six more minutes of exercise
Each participant received a personalized exercise recommendation based on guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine. They also were given printed materials, a pedometer and access to telephone counseling to help them increase their amount of exercise.