Lifestyle modification experiences of african american breast cancer survivors: A needs assessment

Selina A. Smith, Mechelle D. Claridy, Mary Smith Whitehead, Joyce Q. Sheats, Wonsuk Yoo, Ernest A. Alema-Mensah, Benjamin E.O. Ansa, Steven S. Coughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about the rates of obesity among African American (AA) breast cancer survivors (BCSs), the availability and use of lifestyle modification methods suitable for this population, and the impact of changes in dietary intake and physical activity on health-related quality of life (HR-QoL). Objective: The objectives of the study were to describe obesity rates, dietary intake, and physical activity as lifestyle modification strategies; examine predictors of engagement in these strategies post diagnosis; and learn more about salient features of lifestyle interventions from AA BCSs participating in a breast cancer support group. Methods: The needs assessment included four components: (1) a literature review to determine existing lifestyle modification strategies of AA BCSs; (2) secondary data analysis of the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, Cancer Control Supplement to examine HR-QoL; (3) administration, to 200 AA BCSs, of an assessment tool relating to weight and breast cancer history, dietary intake, and physical activity through a variety of approaches (eg, Internet, mail, in-person, and telephone); and (4) focus group discussions to frame lifestyle interventions. Results: Preliminary findings indicate that AA BCSs are underrepresented in lifestyle intervention research, have disparities in HR-QoL outcomes, do not meet current cancer prevention guidelines, and have recommendations for effective strategies for lifestyle modification. Conclusions: As analyses of the needs assessment are completed, the research team is partnering with community coalitions and breast cancer support groups in Miami, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia to develop community-engaged intervention approaches for promoting adherence to cancer prevention guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere9
JournalJMIR Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • African Americans
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer survivors
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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