To establish current physical activity (PA) behaviours in childhood cancer survivors attending a tertiary hospital “late effects” clinic.
To highlight their perceived barriers to increasing physical activity levels.
To identify their preferred interventions to support physical activity participation.
To establish whether medical teams are providing physical activity advice as perceived by the patient.
Methods Questionnaires were administered through a tertiary hospital ‘Late Effects Clinic’ for childhood cancer survivors. Questions were devised after review of previous publications relating to PA measurement and interventions.1
Results 32 responses; 17 males and 15 females between 17–45 years (median: 28 years). 56% of respondents stated becoming more physically active was a priority for them. 26% failed to meet government guidelines for PA.2 41% cited barriers to PA were ‘competing priorities’ (work, study or family/friends); 29.3% cited ‘physical barriers’ (pain, concerns about injury or medication side-effects); 19% cited ‘social barriers’ (pressure from family/friends, don't feel confident, lack of encouragement) and 10.3% cited ‘other factors’ (financial or lack of facilities/equipment).
59% stated a preference to exercise ‘on their own’ rather than through ‘group’ exercise programs which is reflected in the responses given for preferred resources to help increase PA levels; paper 33%, interactive DVD 30%, mobile phone app/online website/online website with video each 11%, podcast 4%.2
Conclusions PA is a high priority for this population and barriers broadly reflect those cited by other populations.3 Technological resources as aids to help improve PA levels need to be considered by clinicians as an important tool and should become a fundamental component of the patient pathway. Greater collaboration between SEM and other medical specialties could help identify and address the needs of specific patient groups in increasing PA levels.
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