Patterns of self-management practices undertaken by cancer survivors: variations in demographic factors

Catherine Shneerson, Taina Taskila, Roger Holder, Sheila Greenfield, Inigo Tolosa, Sarah Damery, Nicola Gale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The study purpose was to examine self-management (SM) use among cancer survivors; and to explore variations in uptake of SM in survivorship and whether these differed in relation to age, income, gender, ethnicity, cancer type and treatment type. This is an important area for exploration as SM utilisation has the potential to impact on the health status, health behaviours and quality of life (QoL) of cancer survivors. A postal survey was conducted among 445 cancer survivors identified from a hospital in the West Midlands, UK. Demographic data were collected and respondents were asked to identify which practices across six SM categories - diet, exercise, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), psychological therapies, support groups and spirituality/religion - they had used (if any). The findings indicate that the large majority (91%) had used some form of SM after their cancer treatment. Exercise (84%) and diet (56%) were the most popular SM interventions for cancer survivors and socio-demographic and cancer-related factors were associated with SM uptake. These findings can form the basis for designing and implementing appropriate SM interventions aimed at improving the health, well-being and QoL of cancer survivors.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean journal of cancer care
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2014


  • Cancer
  • Quality of life
  • Supportive care
  • adults
  • complementary therapy
  • psychological


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