Correlates of post-diagnosis weight management among female breast cancer survivors: An Internet survey

Keiko Yamauchi, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Objective. Weight gain after cancer treatment is associated with breast cancer recurrence. In order to prolong cancer-free survivorship, interventions to manage post-diagnosis weight are sometimes conducted. However, little is known about what factors are associated with weight management behaviors among cancer survivors. In this study, we examined associations of demographic, clinical, and psychosocial variables with weight management behaviors in female breast cancer survivors. We also examined whether knowledge about post-diagnosis weight gain and its risk is associated with weight management behaviors. Methods. 251 female breast cancer survivors completed an internet survey. They reported current performance of three weight management behaviors (general weight management, physical activity, and healthy diet). We also measured attitude, elf-efficacy, knowledge and social support regarding these behaviors along with demographic and clinical characteristics. Results. Multiple regression models for the weight management behaviors explained 17% of the variance in general weight management, 45% in physical activity and 34% in healthy dieting. The models had 9–14 predictor variables which differed in each model. The variables associated with all three behaviors were social support and self-efficacy. Self-efficacy showed the strongest contribution in all models. The knowledge about weight gain and its risks was not associated with any weight management behaviors. However, women who obtained the knowledge during cancer treatment were more likely to engage in physical activity and healthy dieting. Conclusions. The findings suggest that an intervention designed to increase their self-efficacy to manage weight, to be physically active, to eat healthy will effectively promote survivors to engage in these behaviors. Knowledge may motivate women to manage post-diagnosis weight about risk if information is provided during cancer treatment.

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology|Public health

Recommended Citation

Yamauchi, Keiko, "Correlates of post-diagnosis weight management among female breast cancer survivors: An Internet survey" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1516319.