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A Qualitative Exploration of the Experience of Men With Prostate Cancer Involved in Supervised Exercise Programs

Prue Cormie
Brooke Turner
Elizabeth Kaczmarek
Deirdre Drake
Suzanne K. Chambers
ONF 2015, 42(1), 24-32 DOI: 10.1188/15.ONF.24-32

Purpose/Objectives: To provide an in-depth description of the experience of supervised exercise programs among men with prostate cancer and to identify elements critical to optimizing engagement and ongoing exercise participation.

Design: Descriptive, qualitative.

Setting: A tertiary exercise oncology center in Perth, Australia.

Sample: 12 men with prostate cancer participating in a structured, clinic-based group exercise program supervised by accredited exercise physiologists.

Methodologic Approach: Participants completed a demographic and health history questionnaire and a semistructured interview. Thematic content analysis was performed.

Findings: Participants described physiological and psychological health benefits, which reduced treatment-related side effects and positively affected self-efficacy, and identified exercise physiologists as providing information about the importance of exercise, as well as practical, emotional, and social support. Peer support encouraged discussion of shared experiences and a sense of social connection.

Conclusions: Results from the current study expand on existing quantitative data to provide evidence of psychosocial benefits among men with prostate cancer involved with supervised exercise programs. The data provide insight into the components of exercise programs that can form a framework for the development of effective supportive care programs.

Interpretation: Involvement in a structured, clinic-based group exercise program provides men with prostate cancer with considerable benefits. Supervision by qualified exercise physiologists and incorporation of a group approach are critical components of maximizing those benefits.

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