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Physical activity and sociodemographic variables related to global health, quality of life, and psychological factors in breast cancer survivors

Authors Patsou ED, Alexias GT, Anagnostopoulos FG, Karamouzis MV

Received 3 April 2018

Accepted for publication 23 May 2018

Published 6 September 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 371—381

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S170027

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman


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Efrossini D Patsou,1 George T Alexias,1 Fotios G Anagnostopoulos,1 Michalis V Karamouzis2

1Department of Psychology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece; 2Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Background: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women worldwide and depression and anxiety are disturbing side effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment. The aim of this study was to examine the associations of physical activity in global health, quality of life (QoL), and psychological factors (depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and anxiety) in breast cancer survivors after completing cancer treatment and through survivorship. Demographic variables (marital status, education, income), medical status (cancer stage), and level of physical activity (metabolic equivalent of task [MET]) were tested as predictors of depressive mood, anxiety, self-esteem, and QoL in younger and older breast cancer survivors.
Materials and methods: One hundred and seventy-one Greek breast cancer survivors, who had completed cancer treatment at least one and a half years ago, were included in this study. Demographic and medical information, self-reported and objective physical activity levels, global health, QoL, depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and anxiety were assessed in all participants.
Results: Active women had lower depressive symptoms, less anxiety, higher self-esteem, and better global health and QoL, compared to the inactive ones, even in the long term after completing treatment through survivorship. Exercise had significant positive correlations with self-esteem, global health, and QoL (physical, role, emotional, cognitive, and social aspects). Moreover, significant negative correlations with anxiety and depressive symptoms were found. Multiple regression analysis revealed that MET and covariates such as income, education, and stage of cancer were significant predictors of depressive symptoms, self-esteem, anxiety, global health, and QoL in younger survivors, while MET, income, education, stage of cancer, and marital status were significant predictors of dependent variables for the older ones.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that exercise should be recommended to cancer survivors even after treatment completion and through survivorship to achieve higher self-esteem, better QoL, and decreased anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Keywords: breast cancer, depression, self-esteem, anxiety, physical activity, quality of life

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