Perceived barriers to and facilitators of being physically active during adjuvant cancer treatment

OBJECTIVE - The aim was to describe cancer patients' perceived barriers and facilitators of physical activity during adjuvant cancer treatment.

METHODS - Semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted with patients with breast cancer (n=9) and colorectal cancer (n=1) and prostate cancer (n=8) undergoing adjuvant cancer treatment.

To capture perceived barriers and facilitators before starting treatment, individual interviews with women with breast cancer (n=5) were also conducted. 23 patients in total, were interviewed, and the transcribed interviews were analysed with qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS - Three categories emerged: "Physical and emotional barriers"-addresses experiences of side-effects, co-morbid conditions and emotional barriers, preventing physical activity (PA). "Perspective and attitudes"-how self-efficacy, self-image, preference, concerns, expectations, experience and new perspective regarding one's health influencing PA. "Support and practicalities"-addresses needs of support and information and how practicalities could be a barrier to PA.

CONCLUSIONS - Several barriers were side effects of oncological treatment, which can be alleviated by PA. Another barrier was concerns regarding safety of PA during treatment. Communicating benefits and safety of PA to cancer patients early as possible after diagnosis might be beneficial.

Information about PA from health care staff should be given early after diagnosis and as a part of standard care.

Patient education and counseling. 2016 Jan 28 [Epub ahead of print]

Anna Henriksson, Cecilia Arving, Birgitta Johansson, Helena Igelström, Karin Nordin

Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 564, 751 22 Uppsala, Sweden. Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 564, 751 22 Uppsala, Sweden. , Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 564, 751 22 Uppsala, Sweden; Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Akademiska sjukhuset, Ing 78, 5 tr, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. , Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 564, 751 22 Uppsala, Sweden. , Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 564, 751 22 Uppsala, Sweden; Department of Public Health, Sport and Nutrition, University of Agder, Postboks 422, 4604 Kristiansand, Norway.

PubMed

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