Design of the steps to health study of physical activity in survivors of endometrial cancer: Testing a social cognitive theory model

Karen Basen-Engquist, Cindy L. Carmack, Heidi Perkins, Daniel Hughes, Susan Serice, Stacie Scruggs, Bernardine Pinto, Andrew Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objectives: Physical activity has been shown to benefit cancer survivors' physical functioning, emotional well-being, and symptoms. Physical activity may be of particular benefit to survivors of endometrial cancer because they are more likely to be obese and sedentary than the general population, as these are risk factors for the disease, and thus experience a number of related co-morbid health problems. However, there is little research systematically studying mechanisms of physical activity adherence in cancer survivor populations. This paper describes the design of the Steps to Health study, which applies a Social Cognitive Theory-based model of endometrial cancer survivors' adoption and maintenance of exercise in the context of an intervention to increase walking or other moderate intensity cardiovascular activity. Method: In Steps to Health we will test the influence of self-efficacy and outcome expectations on adherence to exercise recommendations, as well as studying the determinants of self-efficacy. Endometrial cancer survivors who are at least 6 months post-treatment are provided with an intervention involving print materials and telephone counseling, and complete assessments of fitness, activity, self-efficacy and outcome expectations, and determinants of self-efficacy every 2 months for a 6-month period. In addition to testing an innovative model, the Steps to Health study employs multiple assessment methods, including ecological momentary assessment, implicit tests of cognitive variables, and ambulatory monitoring of physical activity. Conclusion: The study results can be used to develop more effective interventions for increasing physical activity in sedentary cancer survivors by taking into account the full complement of sources of self-efficacy information and outcome expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity
  • Social cognitive theory
  • Social perceptions & cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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