Physical Activity and Quality of Life Among Chinese Cancer Survivors

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 11:00 AM
Room: 412
Oral Presentation
Maria SWARTZ , University of Texas -MD Anderson Cancer Center
Furjen DENG , Sociology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX
Yucheng GUO , Shanghai University of Sport, China
Cancer is the leading cause of death among Asian American populations in the United States (CDC, 2013).  Asian Americans are actually reported to have lower cancer deaths compared to non-Hispanic Whites. Consequently, more Asian Americans will survive cancer diagnosis and live a longer life after treatment. It has been shown that physical activity at modest intensity can significantly improve the side effects of cancer treatment, quality of life among cancer patients, and breast cancer mortality. Although research on exercise has grown in quantity and quality (i.e., more RCTs) during last decade, most available studies recruited primarily Caucasian samples and were based on smaller sample sizes (Pekmezi & Demark-Wahnefried, 2011). Thus, these findings are not able to be generalized to non-Caucasian subgroups, such as AAs. Furthermore, exercise patterns vary with different cultural traditions. Intervention strategies such as aerobic exercises, resistance training, and Yoga which have demonstrated positive impacts might not be applicable to AA cancer survivors because most Asians will be more inclined to use Tai Chi over Yoga for daily exercise routine.  Thus, more research is needed to study the unique cancer experience of various racial/ethnic groups.

This paper examines the linkage between physical activity and quality of life among Chinese American cancer patients and survivors. It is hypothesized that more physically active cancer patients and survivors are reported to have higher quality of life.  Data were collected from self-report surveys of 55 Chinese cancer patients and survivors.  In addition to basic demographic characteristics, weight status, medical history, two standardized scales are used to measure quality of life (SF-36) and physical activity (CHAMPS).  Currently, we are conducting the data analysis and a manuscript based on the results of the data analysis that will be completed in the spring of 2014.