Exercise motivation and adherence in cancer survivors after participation in a randomized controlled trial: An attribution theory perspective

  • Kerry S. Courneya
  • Christine M. Friedenreich
  • Rami A. Sela
  • H. Arthur Quinney
  • Ryan E. Rhodes
  • Lee W. Jones


The purpose of this study was to examine postprogram exercise motivation and adherence in cancer survivors who participated in the Group Psychotherapy and Home-Based Physical Exercise (GROUP-HOPE; Courneya, Friedenreich, Sela, Quinney, & Rhodes, 2002) trial. At the completion of the GROUP-HOPE trial, 46 of 51 (90%) participants in the exercise group completed measures of attribution theory constructs. A5-week follow-up self-report of exercise wasthen completed by 30 (65%) participants. Correlational analyses indicated that program exercise, perceived success, expected success, and affective reactions were strong predictors of postprogram exercise. In multivariate stepwise regression analyses, program exercise and perceived successwere the strongest predictors of postprogram exercise. Additionally, perceived success was more important than objective success in understanding the attribution process, and it interacted with personal control to influence expected success and negative affect. Finally, postprogram quality of life and changes in physical fitness were correlates of perceived success. We concluded that attribution theory may have utility for understanding postprogram exercise motivation and adherence in cancer survivors.

Key words

attribution theory cancer exercise motivation perceived success 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kerry S. Courneya
    • 1
  • Christine M. Friedenreich
    • 2
  • Rami A. Sela
    • 3
  • H. Arthur Quinney
    • 4
  • Ryan E. Rhodes
    • 5
  • Lee W. Jones
    • 6
  1. 1.Faculty of Physical EducationUniversity of AlbertaEdmonton, AlbertaCanada
  2. 2.Alberta Cancer BoardCalgary, AlbertaCanada
  3. 3.Department of OncologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmonton, AlbertaCanada
  4. 4.Faculty of Physical EducationUniversity of AlbertaEdmonton, AlbertaCanada
  5. 5.School of Physical EducationUniversity of VictoriaVictoria, British ColumbiaCanada
  6. 6.Faculty of Physical EducationUniversity of AlbertaEdmonton, AlbertaCanada

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