A focus group study exploring gynecological cancer survivors' experiences and perceptions of participitating in a RCT testing the efficacy of a home based physical activity intervention

Caroline Donnelly, Andrea Lowe-Strong, Jane Rankin, Janine Blaney, Jackie Gracey

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose This study aims to explore gynecological cancersurvivors' perceptions and experiences following participationin a randomised controlled trial (RCT) testing the efficacy of ahome-based physical activity behavioral change intervention(Donnelly et al., Gynecol Oncol 122:618–624, 2011).Methods All participants completing a two-armed parallelRCT were invited to participate in the study (31/33)(Donnelly et al., Gynecol Oncol 122:618–624, 2011).Sixteen participants took part (16/31; physical activity (PA)group n=9, contact control (CC) group n=7). Four qualitativegroup interviews were conducted (focus group size 3–5). Astructured interview guide was followed by an independentmoderator. Groups were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim,and analyzed using the framework approach (Ritchie andSpencer 2001), a five-stage qualitative method of analysis.Results One of the most unanimously perceived benefits oftaking part in the programme regarded participants' psychologicalwell-being. Additional benefits included improved physicalfitness and functioning. Important programme features includedthe weekly telephone calls from a physiotherapist, the patient–professional relationship, and goal setting. Participants' ownmotivation and programme timing were also identified as importantfactors. Suggestions for improvements include: opportunitiesfor social interaction with other gynecological cancersurvivors and greater exercise choice.Conclusion Findings suggest that women diagnosed with gynecologicalcancer perceive participation in physical activity asimportant and participation provides benefits in terms of psychologicalwell-being and improved physical functioning.Support for continuation of many of the current features ofthe home-based programme was provided. Findings provideinsight and rationale for the selection of components for futurehome-based physical activity interventions. Findings also supportfurther research into the development of multidimensionalinterventions for the gynecological cancer population.Keywords Physical activity . Cancer . Fatigue .Gynecological cancer
Original languageEnglish
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 16 Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

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  • Physical Activity Cancer Fatigue Gyneocological cancer


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