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Emotional health affects exercise patterns in breast cancer patients
Date:4/21/2009

n who reported more physical symptoms reported less physical activity for the duration of the study.

Although family support had a positive influence on physical activity, support from friends did not appear to have the same effect.

"I was a bit surprised that we observed a distinction between family and friends," said Emery, also an investigator in Ohio State's Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. "We continue to believe it's probably important to find a buddy to exercise with, but these data would certainly suggest that support from family may be even more important. We don't know why, but maybe those were the people who were most consistently available to provide support."

The family support component also suggests that health-care practitioners should encourage social support among family members of breast cancer patients as a strategy to influence long-term engagement in physical activity, he said.

As a group, the women's physical activity patterns were similar across the board, increasing from baseline until about 18 months into the study, then steadily dropping and finally ending below the baseline level at the five-year point.

"It's great that participants report an increase in exercise activity, but the fact that there is a subsequent decline is not a good sign. We need to consider future interventions to minimize this decline," Emery said.


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Contact: Charles Emery
emery.33@osu.edu
614-688-3061
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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