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04.09.2018 | Ausgabe 6/2018

Journal of Cancer Survivorship 6/2018

Barriers to physical activity: a study of academic and community cancer survivors with pain

Journal of Cancer Survivorship > Ausgabe 6/2018
Sally A. D. Romero, Justin C. Brown, Joshua M. Bauml, Jennifer L. Hay, Q. Susan Li, Roger B. Cohen, Jun J. Mao
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11764-018-0711-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Presentation: Accepted for poster presentation at the Society for Integrative Oncology 2017 14th International Conference; Chicago, IL; November 12, 2017.



Despite the numerous benefits of physical activity (PA) for patients with cancer, many cancer survivors report challenges to participating in PA. The objectives of this study were (1) to assess barriers to PA and (2) to examine participant characteristics associated with modifiable barriers to PA among cancer survivors with pain.


We conducted a cross-sectional survey study at one academic medical center and 11 community hospitals. Participants completed the 12-item Physical Activity Barriers After Cancer (PABAC) instrument (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.75). Multivariable regression models examined participant characteristics associated with PABAC scores with a higher score indicating more barriers to PA.


Among 662 survivors, 67% had moderate or severe pain (rating 4 or greater on a scale of 0 to 10). Seventy-five percent of survivors did not meet the American Cancer Society PA recommendations on average, and these individuals had higher mean PABAC scores (beta coefficient (β) = 2.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.96–3.09, p < 0.001). In adjusted analyses, cancer survivors who were non-white (β = 1.55, 0.28–2.82, p = 0.02), treated at a community hospital (β = 1.07, 0.09–2.05, p = 0.03), had surgery (β = 1.69, 0.69–2.69, p = 0.001), or within 12 months of diagnosis (β = 1.15, 0.20–2.10, p = 0.02) reported greater barriers to PA.


The majority of cancer survivors with pain are not adequately participating in PA. Key demographic and clinical characteristics are associated with survivors’ barriers.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

Efforts to overcome specific barriers are needed to promote PA after a cancer diagnosis.

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