Exercise preference patterns, resources, and environment among rural breast cancer survivors

Laura Q. Rogers, Stephen J. Markwell, Kerry S. Courneya, Edward McAuley, Steven Verhulst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Rural breast cancer survivors may be at increased risk for inadequate exercise participation. Purpose: To determine for rural breast cancer survivors: (1) exercise preference "patterns," (2) exercise resources and associated factors, and (3) exercise environment. Methods: A mail survey was sent to rural breast cancer survivors identified through a state cancer registry, and 483 (30%) responded. Findings: The majority (96%) were white, with mean education of 13 (±2.5) years and mean 39.0 (±21.5) months since diagnosis. Most participants (67%) preferred face-to-face counseling from an exercise specialist (27%) or other individual (40%). A third (31%) preferred home-based exercise with non face-to-face counseling from someone other than an exercise specialist. Participants preferring face-to-face counseling were more apt to prefer supervised exercise (38% vs 9%, P < 0.001) at a health club (32% vs 8%, P < 0.001). Home exercise equipment was reported by 63%, with 97% reporting home telephone and 67% reporting Internet access. Age, education, self-efficacy, treatment status, and exercise behavior were associated with exercise resources. The physical environment was often not conducive to exercise but a low crime rate and high trust in neighbors was reported. Conclusions: Rural health education programs encouraging exercise should offer multiple programming options while considering the physical environment and capitalizing on available resources and beneficial social environmental characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-391
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Rural Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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