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01-11-2007 | Original Paper | Uitgave 9/2007

Quality of Life Research 9/2007

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

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 9/2007
Helen M. Milne, Andrew Guilfoyle, Sandy Gordon, Karen E. Wallman, Kerry S. Courneya



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


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.


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.


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.

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