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Keywords:

  • breast cancer;
  • survivor;
  • needs;
  • support;
  • physical activity;
  • adjustment

CHARLIER C., PAUWELS E., LECHNER L., SPITTAELS H., BOURGOIS J., DE BOURDEAUDHUIJ I. & VAN HOOF E. (2012) European Journal of Cancer Care

Physical activity levels and supportive care needs for physical activity among breast cancer survivors with different psychosocial profiles: a cluster-analytical approach

The transition from breast cancer patient to survivor is associated with many treatment-related and psychosocial factors, which can influence health behaviour and associated needs. First, this study aimed to identify clusters of treatment-related and psychosocial factors among breast cancer survivors. Second, clusters' physical activity levels and care needs for physical activity were evaluated. Breast cancer survivors (n= 440; 52 ± 8 years) (3 weeks to 6 months post treatment) completed self-reports on physical and psychological symptoms; illness representations; social support and coping; physical activity and care needs for physical activity. Analyses identified four clusters: (1) a low distress-active approach group; (2) a low distress-resigned approach group; (3) a high distress-active approach group; and (4) a high distress-emotional approach group. Physical activity levels were higher in the low distress groups than in the high distress-emotional approach group. However, women with low distress and an active approach reported equal care needs for physical activity than women with high distress and an emotional approach. These findings suggest that care needs for physical activity are unrelated to distress and actual physical activity levels. The results emphasise the importance of screening for needs and provide a framework supporting the referral of breast cancer survivors to tailored interventions.