Survivors’ Health Behaviors

Due to advancements in early detection and treatment, many cancer survivors can expect to live for decades. Despite these encouraging projections, cancer survivors are at an increased risk for recurrence, secondary cancers, late effects of treatment, and a variety of symptoms that can adversely affect quality of life. Thus investigators are now focusing on ways to attenuate these secondary health problems. One area receiving increased attention is the post-diagnosis health behaviors of cancer survivors.  Our work at UConn has focused on the prevalence of health behaviors and association of various health behaviors with health-related quality of life and morbidity.  Given the role played by health behaviors in the health and well-being of cancer survivors, understanding the influences on these health behaviors and how they change becomes an important focus of research as they may be key to developing more effective interventions. Representative publications from our group can be seen below.


Schonberg MA, Breslau ES, Bellizzi KM, McCarthy EP. (2015) Colon Cancer Screening Among US Adults Aged 65 and Older: The Influence of Life Expectancy and Age. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society


Park, C. L., & Iacocca, M. O. (2014). A stress and coping perspective on health behaviors: Theoretical and methodological considerations. Anxiety, Stress & Coping, 27, 123-137.


Bellizzi KM, Breslau, E., Burness, A., & Waldron, W. (2011) Prevalence and correlates of cancer screening in older racially diverse adults: Still screening after all these years. Archives of Internal Medicine, 171, 1-7.


Park, C. L. (2011). Healthy lifestyles in cancer survivorship: Personalized approaches to change and maintenance. In J. L. Lester & P. Schmitt (Eds.), Cancer rehabilitation and survivorship: Transdisciplinary approaches to personalized care (pp. 307-315). Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society.


Bellizzi KM, Rowland JH, Aziz N, Hamilton A, & Arora N. Physical activity and quality of life in adult non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivors. (2009). Journal of Clinical Oncology, 27 (6) 960-966.


Park, C. L., Edmondson, D., Hale-Smith, A., & Blank, T. O. (2009). Religiousness/spirituality and health behaviors in younger adult cancer survivors: Does faith promote a healthier lifestyle? Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 582-591.


Park, C. L., Edmondson, D., Fenster, J. R., & Blank, T. O. (2008). Positive and negative health behavior changes in cancer survivors: A stress and coping perspective. Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 1198-1206.


Bellizzi KM, Rowland JH, & Jeffery DD. (2005). Current health behaviors of cancer survivors: Examining opportunities for cancer control intervention. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 23 (34), 8884-8893.