Little attention has been directed to the longer-term survivorship phase for older breast cancer survivors (BCSs) who often continue to struggle with late and long-term adverse effects of treatment including lower physical functioning, fear of recurrence, stress and anxiety, neuropathies, and pain. Creative and accessible strategies are needed that offer support to this population of cancer survivors.
The purpose of this study was to examine participant perceptions of the effects of a Mindful Movement Program intervention on quality of life and mindfulness through focus groups. This was part of a pilot feasibility study testing the intervention with older women at more than 1 year after treatment for breast cancer.
Eight to 9 weeks after completion of 12 weekly, 2-hour mindful movement sessions, focus groups were held with 3 experimental group cohorts of participants who had attended on average 10.4 classes. Focus group interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using qualitative techniques for recurrent themes.
Four themes emerged from the direct quotes of the participants: freedom, rediscovering, body sense in moving, and in the moment. Participants also contributed opinions about program delivery.
Participants described how the Mindful Movement Program experience affected their lives. Their feedback indicated that the intervention yielded positive results and was feasible for a variety of older BCSs.
Implications for Practice:
Research with a wider group of participants is needed. Preliminary indications are that mindful movement may offer an acceptable strategy for increasing activity and decreasing stress among older BCSs.