Cancer survivors’ exercise barriers, facilitators andpreferences in the context of fatigue, quality of life andphysical activity participation: a questionnaire–survey.

Janine Blaney, Andrea Lowe-Strong, Jackie Gracey, J Rankin-Watt, Anne Campbell

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate the exercise barriers, facilitators and preferences of a mixed sample ofcancer survivors as well as fatigue levels, quality of life (QoL) and the frequency and intensity ofexercise that cancer survivors typically engage in.Methods: An anonymous, postal questionnaire.survey with a convenience sample of 975cancer survivors was used. Standardised measures were used to establish fatigue (MultidimensionalFatigue Symptom Inventory-Short Form), QoL (European Organisation for Researchand Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-C30), exercise frequency and intensity(Leisure Score Index).Results: A 52.3% response rate (n = 456) was achieved. A total of 76.0% were female, withstage I (18.3%) or stage II (21.0%) breast cancer (64.4%), and 62.3% were .3 years post treatment.A total of 73.5% reported fatigue with 57.2% experiencing fatigue on a daily basis. A totalof 68.1% had never been given any advice on how to manage fatigue. A total of 9.4% reportedto engage in strenuous physical activity, 43.5% in moderate physical activity and 65.5% in mildphysical activity. Respondents experienced difficulties with emotional, cognitive and social functioningand the symptoms of fatigue, insomnia and pain. Barriers that interfered with exercise 'eoften/very often' were mainly related to respondents' health and environmental factors. A totalof 50.2% were interested in exercise and 52.5% felt able to exercise. Exercise facilitators,preferences and motivators provide some insight into cancer survivors' needs in terms ofbecoming more physically active.Conclusions: Although cancer survivors continue to experience fatigue and QoL issues longafter treatment completion, over half are willing and feel able to participate in exercise. Exercisebarriers were mainly health related or environmental issues, however, the main barriersreported were those that had the potential to be alleviated by exercise.
Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2011

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Keywords

  • oncology
  • cancer
  • exercise
  • barriers
  • facilitators
  • preferences

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