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Publication Detail
Young adult cancer survivors' experience of taking part in a 12-week exercise referral programme: a qualitative study of the Trekstock RENEW initiative.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Below N, Fisher A, Epstone S, Reynolds J, Pugh G
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Support Care Cancer
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Adherence, Barriers, Compliance, Exercise programme, Physical activity, Qualitative evaluation, Young adult cancer survivors
PURPOSE: There is emerging evidence that physical activity interventions have the potential to improve the physical function and psychosocial well-being of young adult cancer survivors. However, most existing interventions for young adult cancer survivors have been delivered in an in-patient hospital setting. The purpose of this study is to explore young adult cancer survivors' (YACS) experiences of the RENEW programme, a 12-week community-based exercise referral scheme delivered by Trekstock, a UK-based cancer charity. METHODS: Sixteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with YACS (mean age, 33 years; 87.5% female) who participated in the RENEW exercise referral programme. Each interview followed the same semi-structured interview guide which asked participants about their experiences of the RENEW programme and their ideas for the future development of the scheme. Data was audio-recorded, transcribed full verbatim and analysed using framework analysis. RESULTS: YACs predominantly chose to take part in the RENEW programme as a means to improve their health and overcome cancer related impairments (e.g. fatigue, loss of strength, low body confidence). The offer of one-to-one tailored support and unlimited gym access was often cited as a factor which motivated enrolment. Overall, YACS experience of the programme was positive with many describing improvements in physical function and general well-being. Barriers to participating in the programme included sign-off from clinicians prior to enrolment, travelling to the gym and fear of exercising alone. CONCLUSIONS: Exercise referral schemes are acceptable to YACS and provide a promising opportunity for young people with cancer to improve their physical and psychosocial health through physical activity.
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