Perceptions of barriers and facilitators to health behavior change among veteran cancer survivors

Gregory P. Beehler, Amy E. Rodrigues, Morgan A. Kay, Marc T. Kiviniemi, Lynn Steinbrenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to health behavior change related to body size in a sample of veteran cancer survivors. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted with a sample of 35 male and female cancer survivors receiving care at a Veterans Administration comprehensive cancer center. Participants completed individual interviews regarding barriers and facilitators to lifestyle change and responded to a brief questionnaire regarding current health behaviors. Results: Participants reported suboptimal adherence to recommended health behavior goals and the majority were overweight or obese (80%). Qualitative analysis revealed numerous barriers and facilitators to health behavior change across six broad categories: environmental factors, health services delivery factors, health-related factors, factors related to attitudes toward change, factors related to enacting change, and motivational factors. Veteran cancer survivors were impacted by common barriers to change affecting the general population, cancer-specific factors related to personal diagnosis and treatment history, and health service delivery factors related to the Veterans Administration health care system. Conclusions: There are many barriers and facilitators that exist in diverse domains for veteran cancer survivors, each of which offers unique challenges and opportunities for improving engagement in behavior change following cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)998-1005
Number of pages8
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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