“Fear of raising the problem without a solution”: a qualitative study of patients’ and healthcare professionals’ views regarding the integration of routine support for physical activity within breast cancer care
Objective The benefits of physical activity across the cancer continuum for many adult cancers are well established. However, physical activity is yet to be routinely implemented into health services throughout the world. This study aims to explore patients’ and healthcare professionals’ views about integrating conversations and support for physical activity into routine care during treatment for breast cancer.
Methods Healthcare professionals and patients from across the UK living with or beyond breast cancer were invited to take part in semi-structured interviews that were conducted online. Recruitment for the study was advertised on social media, in cancer support groups and newsletters. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.
Results Three themes captured perceptions of integrating support for physical activity in routine breast cancer care among 12 health care professionals (who deliver breast cancer care) and 15 patients. Themes between healthcare professionals and patients overlapped, and therefore, combined themes are presented. These were: (1) current practice; (2) implementation in care and (3) training needs.
Conclusion Many healthcare professionals who offer cancer care are reluctant to raise the topic of physical activity with patients, yet patients have suggested that they would like additional support to be physically active from their medical team. Providing healthcare professionals with education regarding the benefits of physical activity to reduce the risk of recurrence along with evidence based low-cost, remote interventions would allow them to integrate conversations about physical activity within routine cancer care for all patients.
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Professorship award
NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
Published inSupportive Care in Cancer
- VoR (Version of Record)
Rights holder© The Author(s)
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