Making lifestyle changes after colorectal cancer: insights for program development

  • D.L. Dennis British Columbia Cancer Agency- Vancouver Island Centre
  • J.L. Waring British Columbia Cancer Agency- Vancouver Island Centre
  • N. Payeur British Columbia Cancer Agency - Vancouver Island Centre
  • C. Cosby British Columbia Cancer Agency - Vancouver Island Centre
  • H. Daudt British Columbia Cancer Agency- Vancouver Island Centre
Keywords: Colorectal cancer, lifestyle support, lifestyle resources, health behaviours, mixed-methods

Abstract

Background

Healthy lifestyle behaviours may improve outcomes for people with colorectal cancer (crc), but the intention to take action and to change those behaviours may vary with time and resource availability. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of current lifestyle behaviours in people with and without crc in our community, and to identify their desire to change and their resource preferences.

Methods

A mixed-methods survey was completed by people diagnosed with crc who were pre-treatment (n = 54), undergoing treatment (n = 62), or done with treatment for less than 6 months (n = 67) or for more than 6 months (n = 178), and by people without cancer (n = 83).

Results

Current lifestyle behaviours were similar in all groups, with the exception of vigorous physical activity levels, which were significantly lower in the pre-treatment and ongoing treatment respondents than in cancer-free respondents. Significantly more crc respondents than respondents without cancer had made lifestyle changes. Among the crc respondents, dietary change was the change most frequently made (39.3%), and increased physical activity was the change most frequently desired (39.1%). Respondents wanted to use complementary and alternative medicine (cam), reading materials, self-efficacy, and group activities to make future changes.

Conclusions

Resources for lifestyle change should be made available for people diagnosed with crc, and should be tailored to address physical activity, CAM, and diet. Lifestyle programs offered throughout the cancer trajectory and beyond treatment completion might be well received by people with CRC.

Author Biographies

D.L. Dennis, British Columbia Cancer Agency- Vancouver Island Centre
Research Assitant, Department of Clinical Research
J.L. Waring, British Columbia Cancer Agency- Vancouver Island Centre
Clinical Research
N. Payeur, British Columbia Cancer Agency - Vancouver Island Centre
Registered Social Worker, Patient and Family Counselling Services
C. Cosby, British Columbia Cancer Agency - Vancouver Island Centre
Registered Dietician, Oncology Nutrition
H. Daudt, British Columbia Cancer Agency- Vancouver Island Centre
Clinical Research Manager, Department of Clinical Research
Published
2013-09-16
How to Cite
Dennis, D., Waring, J., Payeur, N., Cosby, C., & Daudt, H. (2013). Making lifestyle changes after colorectal cancer: insights for program development. Current Oncology, 20(6), e493-e511. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.20.1514
Section
Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship