Graduation Date

Spring 5-4-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research

First Advisor

Dejun Su

Second Advisor

Apar Ganti

Third Advisor

Jungyoon Kim

Fourth Advisor

Lynette Smith


As the population of cancer survivors grows, understanding the dynamics of physical activity (PA) engagement is critical due to its potential benefits in reducing adverse health outcomes and mortality associated with cancer. Despite known benefits, both adherence to and promotion of PA among cancer survivors face significant challenges. This comprehensive study examines PA levels, barriers, facilitators, and perceptions among cancer survivors and oncology care providers over a ten-year period. The objectives are to assess adherence levels to PA among cancer survivors, explore the perceived barriers and facilitators to PA engagement from the survivors' perspectives, and understand the barriers, facilitators, and educational needs of oncology care providers regarding PA prescription. The study employs a mixed-method approach spanning quantitative analysis of nationally representative samples from 2010, 2015, and 2020, as well as qualitative phenomenological studies involving interviews with cancer survivors and oncology care providers in Nebraska, USA. Findings indicate fluctuating PA adherence among cancer survivors, with a peak in 2015 followed by a decline. Major barriers include physical limitations, lack of awareness, and insufficient social support, while facilitators include knowledge of health benefits and support from healthcare providers. Oncology care providers recognize the importance of PA but report significant gaps in guidelines, training, and prioritization of PA counseling within routine cancer care. The study highlights the complex interplay of personal, social, and systemic factors influencing PA engagement among cancer survivors. It underscores the need for targeted educational interventions and systematic changes to enhance PA promotion in oncology settings, aiming to integrate PA as a fundamental component of cancer survivorship care.


2024 Copyright, the authors

Available for download on Saturday, April 25, 2026