Health behaviors and well-being among those “living” with metastatic cancer in Alabama

Academic Article


  • Background: Approximately 5 million Americans are living with metastatic cancer. Metastatic cancer survivors (MCS) are at risk for poor health behaviors, which may negatively influence well-being. Methods: Using a modified Dillman protocol, 542 MCS were mailed a survey querying physical and mental health (PROMIS® measures), health behaviors, and supportive care interest. Returned surveys were double-key entered into REDCap®. Data were analyzed using SPSS. Results: Two hundred seventy-seven surveys were returned (51% response). Respondents (51% female; 88% Caucasian; 12% African-American; Mage = 65 years; Msurvivorship = 38 months; 23% female cancers, 23% melanoma, 21% gastrointestinal, 15% genitourinary, 12% pulmonary, and 6% other) reported low daily fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake (M = 4.1) and weekly minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (PA) (M = 41.9), with 66% of respondents having overweight or obesity. While mean scores for physical (M = 43.6) and mental (M = 47.7) health were considered “good,” scores in the “fair” to “poor” ranges were observed (40% physical; 23% mental). MCS meeting PA (≥ 150 min per week) and dietary (≥ 5 daily servings of F&V) guidelines reported better physical (p =.003; p =.056) and mental (p =.033, p =.549) health, respectively, compared to MCS who were not. While current supportive care use was low (12%), future interest was high (57%), with greatest interest for nutrition (46%), MCS support group (38%), and gardening (31%). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that engaging in regular PA and consuming more F&Vs may enhance physical and mental health among MCS. Future research may explore supportive care approaches with high interest, such as gardening, to aid MCS in improving key health behaviors.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bail JR; Bail SV; Cagle J; Tiesi K; Caffey J; Bakitas M; Demark-Wahnefried W
  • Start Page

  • 1689
  • End Page

  • 1701
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 2