Understanding how to reach the hard to reach in cancer rehabilitation

Jenna Smith-Turchyn PT, PhD1,2*; Madison F Vani MSc, PhD(c)1; Catherine M Sabiston PhD1

1Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Introduction: Regular exercise helps manage side effects of cancer treatment, however, less than 30% of survivors participate in regular exercise. Exercise-related barriers, facilitators, and needs of general populations of cancer survivors are described in the literature. No information exists describing this information for hard to reach populations.

Purpose: To determine the barriers, facilitators, and exercise needs of hard to reach cancer survivors.

Materials and Methods: Research design: Descriptive qualitative study. Population: Hard to reach cancer survivors, including young adults (18-39 years), those living in rural communities, and those living in areas of low socioeconomic status. Data collection: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were coded independently by two researchers. Coded data was aggregated into nodes and grouped into themes.

Results: Five themes were identified that influence exercise participation in hard to reach survivors: accessibility of exercise programs, appropriateness of exercise programs, social support, personal factors, and exercise information. Young adults described a lack of appropriate exercise programs for their age group, those in rural settings described availability issues, and those in areas of low SES described cost and social support as barriers to exercise.

Conclusion: This project identified unique exercise-related barriers, facilitators, and needs of hard to reach cancer survivors. Results can be used by researchers and clinicians when creating exercise interventions for cancer survivors. Interventions must be tailored to the specific needs of each individual in order to facilitate accessible participation in regular exercise and facilitate sustained behaviour change.

Keywords: Exercise, physical activity, neoplasms, survivorship, hard to reach populations, barriers and facilitators

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How to cite this article:
Jenna Smith-Turchyn, Madison F Vani; Catherine M Sabiston. Understanding how to reach the hard to reach in cancer rehabilitation. Global Journal of Nursing , 2020; 3:18. DOI: 10.28933/gjn-2020-10-3005


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