Factors That Influence Health-Promoting Behaviors in Cancer Caregivers

Alyson Ross

Lena Jumin Lee

Leslie Wehrlen

Robert Cox

Li Yang

Avery Perez

Margaret Bevans

Alice Ding

Gwenyth Wallen

caregiver, cancer, health behaviors, health-promoting behaviors, exercise, nutrition
ONF 2020, 47(6), 692-702. DOI: 10.1188/20.ONF.692-702

Objectives: To describe cancer caregivers’ participation in health-promoting behaviors and to identify factors influencing participation.

Sample & Setting: 129 informal cancer caregivers at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.

Methods & Variables: Cross-sectional survey methodology using Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile–II (HPLP-II), PROMIS® Global Physical Health, NIH Toolbox Stress and Self-Efficacy, Caregiver Reaction Assessment, and Family Care Inventory Mutuality subscale.

Results: Caregivers reported the highest HPLP-II subscale scores for spirituality and interpersonal relationships and the lowest for physical activity. Caregivers who were older, with lower body mass indices, in better physical health, and with higher self-efficacy and mutuality participated in more health-promoting behaviors. Sixty percent of the caregivers reported that they exercised less since becoming a caregiver, and 47% reported that their diet was worse.

Implications for Nursing: Future research is needed to examine novel interventions to increase health-promoting activities in cancer caregivers, and these interventions might be strengthened by including components that focus on increasing self-efficacy and/or improving the strength of the relationship between the caregiver and care recipient.

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