Relationships among attention function, exercise, and body mass index: A comparison between young breast cancer survivors and acquaintance controls

Kamnesh R. Pradhan, Timothy E. Stump, Patrick Monahan, Victoria Champion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Although regular physical activity is associated with lower all-cause and disease-specific mortality among breast cancer survivors (BCS), most BCS do not meet its recommended guidelines. Attention function, a domain of cognition, is essential for daily tasks such as exercising, a form of planned physical activity. We tested the hypotheses that lower self-reported attention function in BCS would be associated with less exercise and higher body mass index (BMI) by comparing a group of 505 young BCS (45 years or younger at diagnosis and 3-8 years post-treatment) with 466 acquaintance controls (AC). Methods: The groups were compared on self-reported physical and psychological outcomes. Mplus software was used to perform confirmatory structural equation modeling with a robust maximum likelihood estimator to evaluate hypothesized relationships among variables. The criteria for good model fit were having root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA)<0.06, comparative fit index (CFI)>0.95, and standardized root mean square residual (SRMR)<0.08. Modification indices were used to better fit the model. Results: The final model demonstrated good fit, with RMSEA= 0.05, CFI = 0.98, and SRMR= 0.03. After controlling for demographics, parameter estimates revealed that, compared with AC, young BCS reported worse attention function ( p<0.001), more depressive symptoms ( p<0.001), and more fatigue ( p<0.001). Controlling for fatigue, depression, and anxiety, better attention function was associated with a greater likelihood of exercise in the past 3 months (p = 0.039), which in turn was associated with a lower BMI ( p<0.001). Conclusions: The significant association between attention function and physical activity, if confirmed in a longitudinal study, will provide new targets for interventions aimed at improving physical activity and decreasing BMI among BCS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-332
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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