Promotion and support of physical activity among cancer survivors: a service provider perspective

Authors

  • Lindsay Robertson,

    Corresponding author
    • Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
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  • Rosalina Richards,

    1. Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
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  • Richard Egan,

    1. Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
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  • Ewa A. Szymlek-Gay

    1. Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
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Correspondence to: Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. E-mail: l.robertson@otago.ac.nz

Abstract

Objective

Cancer survivors are a population group at higher risk of a number of adverse health outcomes. Physical activity during and post-treatment is beneficial, yet participation in physical activity tends to be low amongst cancer survivors. There is still much to be learnt about how service providers can successfully translate research evidence about the benefits of physical activity for cancer survivors into effective and widely available interventions to support physical activity participation. The aim of this qualitative study is to describe some of the current approaches used by the Cancer Society of New Zealand (CSNZ) to supporting physical activity among survivors and the opportunities and challenges associated with this.

Methods

Participants were Supportive Care Managers and representatives of the CSNZ. A generic qualitative approach included semi-structured interviews, transcription, member checking and analysis via thematic coding by two of the research team.

Results

Four major themes frame the discussion of the results: (i) existing physical activity programmes and resources for cancer survivors; (ii) gaps and needs in the provision of physical activity programmes for cancer survivors; (iii) barriers, facilitators and preferences in relation to physical activity participation; and (iv) considerations for service providers involved in developing physical activity programmes for cancer survivors.

Conclusions

The implications for future research and for service provision of physical activity programmes for cancer survivors are discussed. Potential strategies to increase physical activity participation among cancer survivors are put forward. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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