Correlates of positive health behaviors in cancer survivors: Results from the 2010 LIVESTRONG survey

Carissa A. Low, Ellen Beckjord, Dana H. Bovbjerg, Mary Amanda Dew, Donna M. Posluszny, John E. Schmidt, Amy E. Lowery, Stephanie A. Nutt, Sarah R. Arvey, Ruth Rechis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Positive health-promoting behaviors, including lifestyle factors (e.g., physical activity) and appropriate health service utilization (e.g., screening for secondary cancers), can minimize the health risks and challenges facing cancer survivors. The goal of this article is to examine factors associated with positive health behaviors in 2,615 posttreatment cancer survivors who completed the 2010 LIVESTRONG survey. Multivariate logistic regression was used to model odds of reporting each of six positive health behaviors "as a result of your experience with cancer": three "healthy lifestyle" behaviors and three "health care utilization" behaviors. In fully adjusted-models, factors associated with greater likelihood of engaging in positive lifestyle behaviors (e.g., physical activity, changing diet) included sociodemographic factors, greater knowledge about how to reduce cancer risk; and reporting more psychological benefits due to cancer (ps < .01). Factors associated with greater likelihood of attending medical appointments and obtaining recommended cancer screenings included older age, better patient-provider communication, greater knowledge about how to reduce cancer risk, and more psychological benefits of cancer (ps <.01). Results suggest that knowledge about how to prevent cancer and benefit finding after cancer are related to positive health behaviors broadly, whereas better patient-provider communication is associated with positive cancer screening and health care utilization but not healthy lifestyle behaviors. Clinical interventions targeting these modifiable factors could maximize positive health behavior changes among cancer survivors, affecting risk for cancer recurrence as well as overall health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-695
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 15 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Health behavior
  • Posttreatment
  • Psycho-oncology
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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