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Open Access Maintenance of Lifestyle Changes at 12-month Follow-up in a Nutrition and Physical Activity Trial for Cancer Survivors

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Objectives: In this paper, we report maintenance of behavior change in a nutrition and physical activity intervention for cancer survivors at 12-months follow-up. Methods: The ENRICH (Exercise and Nutrition Routine Improving Cancer Health) program was an 8-week face-to-face program for cancer survivors and caregivers, focused on healthy eating, healthy weight, resistance training, and a walking program. Randomized controlled trial participants completed a survey and 7-days of pedometry at baseline, 8-weeks, and 20-weeks. Intervention participants completed 12-month measures. Maintenance was assessed by examining change between 20-weeks and 12-months for cancer survivors. Results: Sixty cancer survivors in the intervention group completed baseline data collection, and 29 (48%) completed 12-month assessments. Initial improvements in step counts, weight, and body mass index were maintained from 20-weeks to 12-months. Vegetable consumption declined significantly (difference -30g/day; p = .04). Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity increased significantly (difference 55 minutes/week; p = .05). Conclusions: Physical activity and weight improvements were maintained over 12-months indicating the potential for a multiple health behavior intervention to help cancer survivors sustain improvements to lifestyle behaviors. Additional support is warranted to assist cancer survivors to make and maintain dietary changes.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: PhD Candidate, School of Medicine and Public Health, Priority Research Center for Health Behavior, Hunter Medical Research Institute, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW (Australia);, Email: [email protected] 2: Professor, School of Education, Priority Research Center in Physical Activity and Nutrition, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW (Australia) 3: Director of Cancer Programs, Cancer Council New South Wales, Woolloomooloo, NSW (Australia) 4: Research Associate, School of Population Sciences and Health Services Research, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King's College London, London, United Kingdom 5: Associate Professor, School of Medicine and Public Health, Priority Research Center for Health Behavior, Priority Research Center in Physical Activity and Nutrition, Hunter Medical Research Institute, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW (Australia)

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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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