Exercise during treatment for early-stage breast cancer is helpful to mitigate fatigue and promote health. Little is known about the experiences of and preferences for exercise during treatment from a national perspective.
The purpose of this descriptive survey was to explore women's experiences with and preferences for exercise during breast cancer treatment.
An online survey was conducted through a national survey company to their eligible subscribers. This researcher-created, 1-time survey included forced-choice and open-ended questions about exercise participation and preferences during treatment for breast cancer.
One hundred sixty women who completed treatment for early-stage breast cancer in the previous year completed the survey. Walking was the most frequent form of exercise reported and preferred by the participants. Most participants did not meet current national guidelines for daily physical activity.
Walking and exercises specific to women with breast cancer were most frequently performed and preferred among a national sample of women during their treatment for breast cancer. This finding supports previous studies.
Implications for Practice:
Oncology nurses can encourage their patients to participate in exercise and physical activities that they enjoy and can self-pace, while meeting daily physical activity recommendations. The results from this survey can help oncology nurses appreciate the exercise experience in this population of women.