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Factors Influencing Health Behaviors of Younger Women After Menopause-Inducing Cancer Treatment

Authors


Correspondence to:

Alexandra McCarthy, School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Qld 4059. E-mail: al.mccarthy@qut.edu.au

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the health promotion and risk reduction behaviors of younger women previously treated for cancer.

Design and Sample

Guided by the “Precede-Proceed” framework, a mixed-method descriptive investigation of the health behaviors of younger women with cancer treatment-induced menopause in one health jurisdiction in Australia was undertaken.

Measures

This article reports the results of the qualitative interview component of the study.

Results

Of the 85 women who responded to surveys that quantified their health behaviors, 22 consented to interviews that explored how and why these behaviors might occur.

Conclusions

Several predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors that influenced participants' will or ability to engage with health-promoting behaviors after cancer treatment were identified in the interviews. These include entrenched precancer diagnosis health behaviors, the disabilities resulting from cancer treatments, perceptions of risk, focused intervention by health professionals and the nature of participants' social support. The results indicate a need for flexibility when planning public health initiatives to prepare this cohort for a healthy life after cancer, which accounts for their developmental, knowledge and posttreatment needs.

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