UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Patient and Medical Oncologists’ Perspectives on Prescribed Lifestyle Intervention—Experiences of Women with Breast Cancer and Providers Balneaves, Lynda G.; Truant, Tracy L. O.; Van Patten, Cheri; Kirkham, Amy A.; Waters, Erin; Campbell, Kristin


This study explored the perspectives and experiences of breast cancer patients and medical oncologists with regards to participation in a lifestyle intervention at a tertiary cancer treatment center. A thematic approach was used to understand the context within which a lifestyle intervention was recommended and experienced, to inform future lifestyle programming and promote uptake. Twelve women with breast cancer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy and eight medical oncologists completed interviews. Findings suggest receiving a prescription for a lifestyle intervention from a trusted health professional was influential to women with breast cancer. The intervention offered physical, psychological, emotional, social, and informational benefits to the women and oncologists perceived both physiological and relational benefit to prescribing the intervention. Challenges focused on program access and tailored interventions. Lifestyle prescriptions are perceived by women with breast cancer to have numerous benefits and may promote lifestyle interventions and build rapport between oncologists and women. Oncology healthcare professionals play a pivotal role in motivating women’s participation in lifestyle interventions during breast cancer treatment. Maintenance programs that transition patients into community settings and provide on-going information and follow-up are needed.

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