Through this research, we hope to develop tools that can help breast cancer survivors of diverse backgrounds & identities to feel greater control over their health & wellness. By increasing this sense of personal control and capability, we also hope to influence levels of factors in the body called 'biomarkers', which can serve as indicators of the potential for future health & wellness.
Prior research done on chronic illness self-management suggests the best way to reduce how much symptoms and other impairments interfere with activity and capability is to improve the ‘fit’ between people and their personal environments.
We hypothesize this improved person/environment ‘fit’ can be achieved by first identifying breast cancer survivors' personal goals for activity & wellness (what do you YOU want?), assessing the cancer and non-cancer-related symptoms or other impairments that interfere with achieving these goals, and identifying ways to adapt behaviors and adjust environments to overcome those challenges. Such a combination of behavioral and environmental changes has been shown to be more effective than providing education about activity and symptom management or goal-setting alone.
This approach also places greater control over the situation and potential solutions directly in the hands of the breast cancer survivor.