Autonomy is not but competence and relatedness are associated with physical activity among colorectal cancer survivors

Colorectal Cancer

Support Care Cancer. 2020 Aug 6. doi: 10.1007/s00520-020-05661-0. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: The main objective of this study was to use the framework of the self-determination theory, incorporating both internal and external sources of motivation, to identify factors influencing physical activity among colorectal cancer survivors (CRC-S) in Korea.

METHOD: In total, 242 patients at a university-affiliated hospital in Seoul, Korea, responded to a descriptive survey, which comprised questionnaire sets including the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire and the Patient Health Questionnaire. Motivation was then assessed on three scales: the Treatment Self-Regulation (autonomy), Perceived Competence (competence), and the multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (relatedness). Logistic regression analysis was then used to identify factors associated with physical activity.

RESULT: The mean physical activity score was 16.07 metabolic equivalent hours per week, and only 23.3% of patients had an appropriate level of exercise. In the logistic regression analysis, physical activity was associated with competence (odds ratio (OR) = 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06-1.74), relatedness (OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 1.04-1.18), depression (OR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.75-0.94), and stage I or II disease (OR = 3.33, 95% CI: 1.28-1.86). This study indicated that competence, relatedness, depression, and the disease stage contributed to physical activity among these subjects while autonomy did not.

CONCLUSION: Future interventions to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity among CRC-S could benefit from taking into account the disease stage as well as psychosocial factors including motivation and depression.