Personal accounts of exercise and quality of life from the perspective of breast cancer survivors

Qual Life Res. 2007 Nov;16(9):1473-81. doi: 10.1007/s11136-007-9251-z. Epub 2007 Aug 24.


Objectives: The purpose of the study was to examine breast cancer survivors' perceptions of exercise and their quality of life (QoL).

Methods: About 289 breast cancer survivors completed a survey addressing exercise attitudes, behaviour and perceived QoL. In addition, the breast cancer survivors completed two open-ended questions designed to explore perceptions of exercise and QoL throughout their cancer experience. Inductive and deductive content analyses were used to analyse responses.

Results: About 19 first-order themes were identified, which were clustered into five second-order themes that included; Exercise behaviour, Lifestyle, Limitations and barriers, Growth and priorities, and Personal beliefs and values. The findings identified a framework of multifaceted views held by breast cancer survivors in relation to their QoL and outlook on their disease.

Conclusions: Given that cancer survivors are faced with a number of treatment related morbidities 2 years post-diagnosis, there is a need for health professionals to carefully address a cancer survivor's exercise needs in an attempt to help improve their future QoL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anecdotes as Topic
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Data Collection
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sickness Impact Profile*
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Western Australia