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Profiling sedentary behavior in breast cancer survivors: Links with depression symptoms during the early survivorship period

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Published online on


Objective Depression symptoms are prevalent among breast cancer survivors (BCS). Reducing sedentary behavior (SED) may be a non‐pharmaceutical strategy for alleviating depression symptoms. However, little is known about SED among BCS. The present study aimed to: (i) describe SED behaviors among BCS and identify unique SED groups based on different SED dimensions; (ii) identify personal and cancer‐specific factors that discriminate SED clusters; and (iii) examine the association between SED clusters and depression symptoms. Methods Baseline self‐report demographic and medical information was collected from 187 BCS. SED and physical activity were assessed over seven days using an accelerometer. Self‐reported depression symptoms were reported three months later. Multiple dimensions of SED were identified and examined in cluster analysis. The clusters were examined for differences using multivariate analysis of variance and chi‐square analyses. The difference in depression symptoms among SED groups was assessed using an analysis of covariance. Results High and low SED groups were identified. Survivors in the high SED cluster were significantly older, heavier, less physically active, reported less education, and were more likely to have undergone lymph/axial node dissection. Women in the high SED cluster reported significantly higher depression symptoms prospectively (M = 9.50, SD = 6.07) compared to women in the low SED group (M = 6.89, SD = 5.18), F(8,179) = 4.97, p = 0.03, R2 = 0.34. Conclusions The importance of understanding multiple dimensions of SED among BCS was highlighted. Reducing SED during the early survivorship period may alleviate depression symptoms.