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Publication Detail
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health behaviours of people living with and beyond breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer—a qualitative study
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Buck C, Pini S, Lally P, Beeken RJ, Fisher A
  • Publisher:
    Springer Science and Business Media LLC
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Journal of Cancer Survivorship
  • Medium:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    COVID-19, Cancer survivorship, Health behaviours, Pandemic, Qualitative, Typology
  • Notes:
    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
PURPOSE: Positive health behaviours (sufficient exercise, healthy diet, limiting alcohol, and not smoking) can improve multiple outcomes after a cancer diagnosis. Observational studies suggest that health behaviours were negatively impacted for some but not all individuals living with and beyond cancer. The aim of this study was to qualitatively explore the impact of the pandemic on health behaviours of people in this population. METHODS: Thirty participants were purposively sampled for characteristics including diagnostic group (breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers), gender, time since diagnosis, and age. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to discuss the impact of the pandemic on health behaviours. Thematic analysis and a secondary Ideal Types analysis were conducted. RESULTS: Five themes covered changes in food, weight management, relationship to alcohol, and exercise. Five "types" were identified, representing orientations to health behaviours. The "gift of time" provided by the pandemic had an impact on health behaviours, with trends towards increases in drinking, eating unhealthy food, and exercising less. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic impacted engagement in positive health behaviours among participants in this study. Strict restrictions and changes in routines resulted in individuals adjusting how they managed their diet, alcohol intake, and exercise behaviours. The typology identified within this study helps to define how different orientation to health behaviours could underpin the responses of individual people LWBC. IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Alongside providing an understanding of the experiences of people LWBC during the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposed typology suggests how, with further development, future health behaviour interventions in this group could be targeted based on individual orientations to health, rather than demographic or clinical variables.
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