Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Kinesiology




Suzanne Phelan, PhD


The purpose of this study was to prospectively examine the effects of dragon boat participation on the psychosocial well-being of female cancer survivors over time and compared with the population-based norms. Nine female cancer survivors belonging to the dragon boat team, SurvivOars, participated in the initial measurement process. The measurement packet was 21 page compilation of psychosocial questionnaires capturing demographics, quality of life, moods, depressive symptoms, perceived stress, self-esteem, self-efficacy, social support, physical activity levels, body image, and sedentary behaviors. After 8 weeks, 8 subjects completed the same follow-up questionnaire to assess changes in psychosocial variables over time. Scores were also compared to population-based norms from previous studies of similar groups of cancer survivors who did not participate in dragon boating. Results indicated no significant changes in psychosocial scores over the 8-week period. However, compared with population norms, significantly better psychosocial functioning was found in the dragon boating survivors compared with non-dragon boating survivors in quality of life, mood, self-esteem, perceived stress, body image, and depressive symptoms (p<0.05). These findings suggest dragon boat participation among female cancer survivors may be beneficial to their quality of life and psychosocial well-being after disease.