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  • 1.
    Ax, Anna-Karin
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences, Division of Nursing Sciences and Reproductive Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Center for Surgery, Orthopaedics and Cancer Treatment, Department of Oncology.
    Johansson, Birgitta
    Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology and Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Carlsson, Maria
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Nordin, Karin
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; Department of Public Health, Sport and Nutrition, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway.
    Börjeson, Sussanne
    Linköping University, Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences, Division of Nursing Sciences and Reproductive Health. Region Östergötland, Center for Surgery, Orthopaedics and Cancer Treatment, Department of Oncology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Exercise: A positive feature on functioning in daily life during cancer treatment – Experiences from the Phys-Can study2020In: European Journal of Oncology Nursing, ISSN 1462-3889, E-ISSN 1532-2122, Nursing, Vol. 44, article id 101713Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    Impaired functioning due to cancer treatment is a challenge for daily life. Exercise during treatment can improve functioning. However, research describing experiences of how exercise affects activities of daily life is limited. We aimed to explore how individuals with cancer receiving curative treatment and participating in an exercise intervention experienced their functioning in daily life.

    Methods

    Twenty-one participants were recruited from Phys-Can, an exercise intervention study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted after the intervention had finished, and data was analysed using thematic analysis.

    Results

    Two main themes evolved: “Striving to maintain a normal life in a new context” and “Struggling with impairments from side effects of cancer treatment”. The supervised group exercise proved popular, and participants reported positive effects on physical and psychological functioning, as well as social and informative support from other participants. Participants struggled with impaired cognitive and physical functioning and exhaustion. They strove to maintain a normal life by adjusting their activities.

    Conclusions

    Perceived physical and psychological benefits from exercise during cancer treatment suggest that exercise should be a part of cancer rehabilitation to facilitate activities and participation in daily life. Striving to maintain a normal life during cancer treatment is vital, and adjustments are needed to maintain activities and participation in daily life. Cancer nurses should motivate patients to engage in physical activity and encourage the introduction of exercise as part of their rehabilitation. They could also support patients in making adjustments to maintain functioning in daily life.

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