Effect of Physical Activity on Community Participation among Breast Cancer Patients




Dean, Victoria Nicole

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BACKGROUND: Breast cancer patients who engage in physical activity are shown to have a reduction in difficulties during daily living as a result of treatment side effects; however, it is unknown if participation in physical activity will reduce the limitations experienced by these individuals while participating in community activities. SUBJECTS: Female breast cancer patients, with a mean age of 51.81(SD = 7.88, range 30-64), diagnosed with stage 1 (n = 16, 21.3%), stage II (n = 37, 49.3%), stage III (n = 15, 20.0%) cancer who have completed chemotherapy (n = 63, 84.0%), are undergoing chemotherapy (n = 9, 12.0%), or have not yet started chemotherapy (n = 1, 1.3%). The majority of the participants were individuals were employed full time (n = 39, 52.0%), employed part time (n = 13, 17.3%). The majority of these women were married (n = 49) or divorced (n = 11). These women were college graduates (n = 30) or finished some graduate school (n = 20). These participants were European American (n = 34, 45.3%) and African American (n = 13, 17.3%). The BMI of these participants had a mean of 27.28 with a range from 16.30 to 44.81(SD = 5.35). Some of these individuals (n = 53) reported co-occuring medical conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and being overweight. METHOD: We recruited female breast cancer patients between the age of 18-66, with stage I, II, or III cancer, who are starting, in the process of, or have completed chemotherapy. Participants who met the inclusion criteria were selected to participate. Research assistants invited these patients to volunteer the survey study. For the current study purpose, we analyzed the association between the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Scale version 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0), using the Pearson product-moment correlation at the level of statistical significance at .05. The survey packages were sent to the participants through the United States Postal Service. Once the surveys were returned by mail the participants received a $10 gift card for compensation. RESULTS: A significant negative association was observed between limitations in participation in society (r = -.31, p =.004, medium effect size) and walking. Significant negative associations were also discovered between the limitations in life activities and vigorous activity (r = -.24, p = .023, small to medium effect size), along with walking (r = -.23, p = 0.25, small to medium effect size). Lastly, a significant negative association was seen between the limitations in communication and understanding and walking (r = -.20, p = .046, small to medium effect size).
DISCUSSION: Engaging in physical activity decreases the limitations in understanding and communication, life activities, and participation in society an individual encounters. Vigorous activity is not required to experience reductions in community limitations. Simply engaging in light physical activity, like walking, produces results.

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