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Physical activity and quality of life in cancer survivors: A meta-synthesis of qualitative research

Physical activity and quality of life in cancer survivors: A meta-synthesis of qualitative research
Physical activity and quality of life in cancer survivors: A meta-synthesis of qualitative research
Qualitative research on the impact of physical activity on quality of life (QoL) in adults diagnosed with cancer is accumulating. However, the field of physical activity and cancer survivorship lack a synthesis of this research to reliably understand the implications for future research and practice. The aim of this meta-synthesis was to identify, appraise, and synthesize qualitative research on cancer survivors’ perspectives of the impact of physical activity on their QoL. Seven electronic databases were searched for original studies published in English, and reference lists of relevant studies were hand-searched to identify additional studies. Forty studies met eligibility criteria and were included in this meta-synthesis. Study characteristics and major findings were extracted, and findings were summarized, compared, and synthesized. Themes identified in this review revealed that physical activity positively impacted four dimensions of cancer survivors’ QoL: physical (e.g., managing the physical consequences of cancer and its treatment), psychological (e.g., evoking positive self-perceptions), social (e.g., feeling understood by others), and spiritual (e.g., redefining life purpose). This meta-synthesis corroborates conclusions from reviews of quantitative research and illustrates that physical activity can be used to improve QoL in adult cancer survivors, regardless of diagnosis (i.e., stage, cancer type) and treatment status. It also provides detailed insight into specific aspects within each dimension of QoL impacted by physical activity from cancer survivors’ perspectives, which is important for understanding the meaning and utility of physical activity for them. However, more research is needed to further develop the qualitative evidence base in order to better understand how physical activity impacts on QoL experiences in men, young adults, and adults diagnosed with less common types of cancer at different points along cancer trajectory (i.e., diagnosis, treatment, post-treatment, palliation).
2072-6694
Burke, Shaunna M.
83fa2ae8-831f-445a-903f-6731dc7c1d07
Wurz, Amanda
e552cf08-dffa-4ea3-87e2-ec80abadadc0
Bradshaw, Andrew
3eb8181a-b523-451b-ae25-33f0c3badf2a
Saunders, Stephanie
a4bcf608-5979-44e2-b809-c182e6e9180a
West, Malcolm A.
98b67e58-9875-4133-b236-8a10a0a12c04
Brunet, Jennifer
557c25b8-af75-44c8-b916-f042e2a00333
Burke, Shaunna M.
83fa2ae8-831f-445a-903f-6731dc7c1d07
Wurz, Amanda
e552cf08-dffa-4ea3-87e2-ec80abadadc0
Bradshaw, Andrew
3eb8181a-b523-451b-ae25-33f0c3badf2a
Saunders, Stephanie
a4bcf608-5979-44e2-b809-c182e6e9180a
West, Malcolm A.
98b67e58-9875-4133-b236-8a10a0a12c04
Brunet, Jennifer
557c25b8-af75-44c8-b916-f042e2a00333

Burke, Shaunna M., Wurz, Amanda, Bradshaw, Andrew, Saunders, Stephanie, West, Malcolm A. and Brunet, Jennifer (2017) Physical activity and quality of life in cancer survivors: A meta-synthesis of qualitative research. Cancers, 9 (5). (doi:10.3390/cancers9050053).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Qualitative research on the impact of physical activity on quality of life (QoL) in adults diagnosed with cancer is accumulating. However, the field of physical activity and cancer survivorship lack a synthesis of this research to reliably understand the implications for future research and practice. The aim of this meta-synthesis was to identify, appraise, and synthesize qualitative research on cancer survivors’ perspectives of the impact of physical activity on their QoL. Seven electronic databases were searched for original studies published in English, and reference lists of relevant studies were hand-searched to identify additional studies. Forty studies met eligibility criteria and were included in this meta-synthesis. Study characteristics and major findings were extracted, and findings were summarized, compared, and synthesized. Themes identified in this review revealed that physical activity positively impacted four dimensions of cancer survivors’ QoL: physical (e.g., managing the physical consequences of cancer and its treatment), psychological (e.g., evoking positive self-perceptions), social (e.g., feeling understood by others), and spiritual (e.g., redefining life purpose). This meta-synthesis corroborates conclusions from reviews of quantitative research and illustrates that physical activity can be used to improve QoL in adult cancer survivors, regardless of diagnosis (i.e., stage, cancer type) and treatment status. It also provides detailed insight into specific aspects within each dimension of QoL impacted by physical activity from cancer survivors’ perspectives, which is important for understanding the meaning and utility of physical activity for them. However, more research is needed to further develop the qualitative evidence base in order to better understand how physical activity impacts on QoL experiences in men, young adults, and adults diagnosed with less common types of cancer at different points along cancer trajectory (i.e., diagnosis, treatment, post-treatment, palliation).

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Accepted/In Press date: 16 May 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 May 2017
Published date: 20 May 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416177
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416177
ISSN: 2072-6694
PURE UUID: 645fd3d3-faba-466c-8141-cf6b3445e3aa
ORCID for Malcolm A. West: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0345-5356

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Date deposited: 06 Dec 2017 17:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:26

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Contributors

Author: Shaunna M. Burke
Author: Amanda Wurz
Author: Andrew Bradshaw
Author: Stephanie Saunders
Author: Malcolm A. West ORCID iD
Author: Jennifer Brunet

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