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Exercise Preferences Among Men With Prostate Cancer Receiving Androgen-Deprivation Therapy

Joanne M. Harrington
Dawn C. Schwenke
Dana R. Epstein
ONF 2013, 40(5), E358-E367 DOI: 10.1188/13.ONF.E358-E367

Purpose/Objectives: To investigate acceptability of and preferences for physical activity participation in men receiving androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer, to identify influencing clinical and demographic factors, and to determine the percentage meeting national exercise guidelines.

Design: Cross-sectional, descriptive.

Setting: Ambulatory care clinic of a large medical center.

Sample: 135 men receiving ADT.

Methods: A structured interview with a systematic procedure was used to elicit preferences for physical activity.

Main Research Variables: Exercise preferences and acceptability; evidence-based exercise intervention.

Findings: Participants expressed high levels of acceptability of and willingness to participate in aerobic (64% and 79%) and muscle-strengthening (79% and 81%) programs. Preferences were expressed for muscle-strengthening activities performed at home, either alone or in the company of a family member. Flexible, spontaneous, and self-paced programs were preferred. Significant associations were identified for distance, age, obesity, duration of ADT, and meeting American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines. Nineteen percent of the study population met the guidelines for weekly physical activity.

Conclusions: High levels of expressed acceptance of and willingness to participate in physical activity programs as well as the small number of participants meeting ACSM and AHA guidelines suggest feasibility of and support the need for the development of exercise programs in this population.

Implications for Nursing: Incorporating patient preferences and evidence-based practice is integral to providing high-quality patient-centered care and is the foundation for appropriate intervention programs. Insight from this study will facilitate the design of programs that better reflect actual preferences of prostate cancer survivors.

Knowledge Translation: ADT-induced changes in body composition are believed to contribute to a reduction in insulin sensitivity and dyslipidemia that contribute to increased cardiovascular risk profile. Exercise has the potential to mitigate the harmful effects of ADT.

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