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Lifestyle information for cancer survivors

Williams, K; (2015) Lifestyle information for cancer survivors. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

With increasing numbers of people surviving cancer, research attention has turned to how best to improve the health of cancer survivors. A healthy lifestyle, including not smoking, being physically active, having a healthy diet, drinking alcohol in moderation, and maintaining a healthy weight, has the potential to improve outcomes in this population. However, there are a number of unanswered questions regarding the health behaviours of cancer survivors in the United Kingdom (UK), and the lifestyle information available to them. This thesis used a range of methodologies to try and address some of these gaps in the literature. Study 1 showed that on a population level, there is little evidence that cancer survivors make positive changes to their lifestyle following their diagnosis. Study 2 found that cancer survivors think lifestyle is important, but receive little information to help them make changes. Study 3 found that only a minority of statutory and charity sector organisations and cancer centres provided sufficient information about lifestyle for cancer survivors on their websites, and the majority recommended that they seek professional advice. However, Study 4 revealed that awareness of lifestyle guidelines among health professionals is suboptimal, and although the majority reported giving lifestyle advice to their patients, there were also a number of barriers to giving such advice. Study 5 highlighted that cancer survivors and members of their social networks all thought that lifestyle advice for people diagnosed with cancer would be beneficial. Study 6 then showed that the proportion of cancer survivors meeting the recommended lifestyle guidelines is low, but encouragingly they think they need to change their lifestyle and are interested in advice to help them make these changes. Overall, these findings highlight a need for lifestyle information to be incorporated into the cancer care pathway, to ensure the best possible long-term outcomes for cancer survivors.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Lifestyle information for cancer survivors
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471847
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