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Explaining the Aerobic Exercise Intention-behavior Gap in Cancer Survivors

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Objectives: We sought to quantify the aerobic exercise intention-behavior gap in hematologic cancer survivors (HCS), and examine the correlates of intention formation and translation using the multi-process action control framework. Methods: HCS (N = 606) completed a survey reporting their aerobic exercise motivation and behavior. The correlates of intention formation and translation were analyzed using separate logistic regressions. Results: Overall, 71% (N = 428/606) of HCS intended to do aerobic exercise, 44% (N = 267/606) met aerobic exercise guidelines, and 60% of intenders (N = 256/428) translated their intention into aerobic exercise. Attitude (OR = 1.9), perceived control (OR = 1.5), younger age (OR = 2.0), and higher education (OR = 2.1) explained intention formation (all ps ≤ .001). A sense of obligation/regret (OR = 2.8), self-regulation over alternative activities (OR = 1.6), attitude (OR = 2.0), perceived control (OR = 1.7), planning (OR = 1.7), being female (OR = 2.0), and younger (OR = 3.0) explained intention translation (all ps < .005). Conclusions: Forming an intention is insufficient for many HCS to meet aerobic exercise guidelines. Interventions targeting the determinants of both intention formation and translation may be most effective in promoting aerobic exercise in cancer survivors.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: PhD Candidate, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada 2: Professor, School of Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada 3: Professor,Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada 4: Professor and Canada Research Chair, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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  • 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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