Perceived barriers to physical activity for colorectal cancer survivors

  • Lynch B
  • Owen N
  • Hawkes A
 et al. 
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PURPOSE: Promoting physical activity among cancer survivors is a high priority. Understanding barriers to physical activity provides an evidence base to inform relevant strategies for doing so. METHODS: Telephone interviews were conducted with colorectal cancer survivors at 5 (n = 538) and 12 months post-diagnosis (n = 403). We used an ecological model of health behaviour to classify participants' perceived barriers to physical activity into four sub-categories: physical environment, social environment, personal attributes, and disease-specific barriers. RESULTS: Disease-specific barriers were perceived as the greatest challenge to colorectal cancer survivors being more physically active, closely followed by personal attributes. The physical environment presented the least salient perceived barriers; however, the physical environment was most closely associated with achieving sufficient levels of physical activity at 5 months post-diagnosis. The difficulties most frequently reported by participants at both time points were belief that they were already active enough, not feeling well enough to be physically active, and experiencing fatigue. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest potential points for intervention to influence physical activity among colorectal cancer survivors.

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Colostomy
  • *Exercise
  • *Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms/*surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult

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  • B M Lynch

  • N Owen

  • A L Hawkes

  • J F Aitken

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