263140 Breast cancer survivors' spirituality as a moderator of their motivation to engage in risk reduction behaviors

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mina Coman, PhD , Department of Health and Recreation Professions, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Timothy R. Jordan, PhD, MEd , Department of Public Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Iman Mohamed, MD , Division of Hematology/Oncology, The University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, OH
Amy J. Thompson, PhD, CHES , Department of Health and Recreation Professions, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Joseph A. Dake, PhD, MPH , Department of Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Dianne L. Kerr, PhD, MCHES , Health Education and Promotion, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Background: Breast cancer recurrence is a significant public health problem. To reduce the risk of recurrence, breast cancer survivors should engage in recommended risk reduction behaviors.

Purpose: To assess how survivors' spirituality and fear of cancer recurrence were associated with their motivation to engage in risk reduction behaviors.

Methods: A valid, reliable questionnaire was mailed to 800 randomly selected breast cancer survivors in Ohio. A total of 559 survivors returned completed surveys (72%).

Results: Nearly 90% of survivors were very spiritual and found strength and meaning via spiritual practices. Relieving stress and anxiety through spirituality was an important coping mechanism for respondents (49%). One in four survivors believed that their breast cancer was caused by fate and that faith in God and prayer were effective ways to prevent a recurrence. Those who became more spiritual after diagnosis had stronger motivation to engage in risk reduction behaviors than those who did not become more spiritual. High levels of spirituality were positively correlated with stronger motivation to engage in risk reduction behaviors (r=.345, n=468, p<0.001). Those who were currently engaged in moderate exercise and who drank less than 3 alcoholic drinks per week were more spiritual than those who did not exercise and who drank more. In contrast, fear of cancer recurrence was associated with significantly lower levels of motivation to engage in risk-reduction behaviors.

Conclusion: Spirituality and fear of cancer recurrence should be included in patient-provider communication and in programs designed for breast cancer survivors.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1.Explain how spirituality and fear of recurrence are associated with survivorsí motivation and behavior intentions to engage in risk reduction behaviors. 2.Describe how survivorsí beliefs about cancer causation and communication with their providers influence their motivation to perform risk reduction behaviors 3.Discuss the importance of including spirituality in patient-provider communication and cancer survivorship programs

Keywords: Breast Cancer Programs, Stress

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered