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Health Behaviors and Perceptions of Cancer Survivors Harvesting at an Urban Garden

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Objectives: To gather information about perceptions of personal health behavior change in cancer survivors following participation in an urban gardening program. Methods: This qualitative study used focus groups of adult cancer survivors with an open-ended question thread format. Data were transcribed and analyzed by identifying, coding, and categorizing primary patterns/themes. Results: Four overarching themes were identified: (1) greater dietary intake of produce; (2) improved mental and physical health; (3) enhanced sense of community and social support; and (4) challenges to long-term maintenance. Conclusions: Perceptions of positive behavior changes associated with harvesting at an urban garden targeting cancer survivors may inform future community and health promotion interventions aimed at improving adherence to evidence-based lifestyle behavior guidelines for cancer survivorship.
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Keywords: BEHAVIOR; CANCER SURVIVOR; GARDENING; NUTRITION; QUALITATIVE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Medical Dietetics & Health Sciences, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA. [email protected] 2: Graduate Program in Medical Dietetics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA 3: Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA 4: Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus OH, USA 5: Medical Dietetics & Health Sciences, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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