Weight control needs and experiences among rural breast cancer survivors
Article first published online: 23 AUG 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 20, Issue 10, pages 1069–1075, October 2011
How to Cite
Befort, C. A., Austin, H. and Klemp, J. R. (2011), Weight control needs and experiences among rural breast cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology, 20: 1069–1075. doi: 10.1002/pon.1828
- Issue published online: 27 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 23 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 25 JUN 2010
- Manuscript Received: 5 MAR 2010
- breast cancer;
- weight control;
- psychosocial adjustment
Objective: Rural women are understudied in research on weight control among breast cancer survivors despite having higher obesity rates than their urban counterparts placing them at higher risk for recurrence. The purpose of this survey study was to describe weight status and methods used for weight control in rural breast cancer survivors and to examine psychosocial factors in this population associated with weight change since breast cancer diagnosis.
Methods: Women treated for breast cancer within the past 6 years at one of three rural Cancer Centers were mailed a survey with a cover letter from their oncology provider.
Results: Survey respondents (n=918, 83% response rate) were 96% White non-Hispanic, on average 3.2 years from treatment, and 11% reported metastatic disease. Among respondents without known metastatic disease, 68% were overweight or obese, 37% were obese, and 25% reported a weight gain exceeding 5 kg since diagnosis. Among the overweight/obese women, 61% were currently attempting weight loss, and the most common weight loss method was dieting on one's own without assistance. Psychosocial factors associated with weight gain since diagnosis included depression, fear of cancer recurrence, diminished physical strength, body image concerns, relationship changes, and financial stressors.
Conclusions: The high response rate indicates a general interest in body weight issues among rural BrCa survivors, and the findings highlight the need for weight control programs in this population. Findings also indicate that factors related to poor adjustment to breast cancer are associated with weight gain among rural women. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.