"A longitudinal study on engagement with dieting information at a predictor of dieting behavior among adults diagnosed with cancer." Patient Educ Couns, 2012.

Andy Tan, Susan Mello, and Robert C. Hornik
Research Area: 

Objective: This study explores cancer survivors’ engagement with information about dieting to control weight from doctors, interpersonal, and media sources and examines whether engagement from these sources impacts subsequent dieting behavior.

Methods: A total of 1128 respondents diagnosed with colorectal, breast, or prostate cancers were surveyed over three years following their cancer diagnoses. Using weighted logistic regression analyses, the authors predicted the odds of dieting based on earlier information engagement with sources, controlling for dieting in the previous year and confounders.

Results: Participants reported talking with doctors more frequently (37%) than seeking or scanning from interpersonal and media sources about dieting (15–22%). Seeking from interpersonal and media sources, and discussion with physicians, significantly predicted dieting behavior. In addition, discussions with physicians increased the odds of subsequent dieting behavior by 2.32 times (95% CI: 1.50–3.61; p = .002), over and above the effects of other information engagement.

Conclusion: Cancer survivors reported engaging with a variety of information sources about dieting. Engagement with doctors and information-seeking from interpersonal or media sources predicted cancer survivors’ dieting behavior a year later.

Practice implications: The results may inform strategies to encourage and empower cancer survivors to engage with information about healthy lifestyle changes for promoting long-term health.

Published in Volume 88, Issue 2, pages 305-310