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Physical Activity Among Postoperative Esophageal Cancer Patients

Ichijo, Yuka, MSN, RN; Takeda, Yuko, PhD, RN; Oguma, Yuko, MD, PhD, MPH; Kitagawa, Yuko, MD, PhD; Takeuchi, Hiroya, MD, PhD; Doorenbos, Ardith Z., PhD, RN, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000638
Article: PDF Only

Background Previous literature has reported that regular physical activity enhances health-related quality of life for cancer patients. However, there is a lack of studies that focus on physical activity among postoperative esophageal cancer patients.

Objective The aims of this study were to (1) describe the prevalence of physical activity among postoperative esophageal cancer patients, (2) explore variables related to physical activity (demographics, nutrition, dysphagia, and health-related qualify of life), and (3) examine potential reasons for inactivity among participants who scored low using case studies.

Methods In this cross-sectional design, physical activity was evaluated by the Japanese version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Variables were analyzed using Spearman rank correlation coefficients, Mann-Whitney U tests, or Fisher exact tests.

Results Fifty-eight patients participated in this study; 79% met the recommended physical activity guidelines. Present occupational status and past leisure-time physical activity behavior before the cancer diagnosis were related to current leisure-time physical activity and meeting the guidelines postoperatively. Participants who scored 0 (little or no activity) in the questionnaire also scored low in health-related quality of life.

Conclusions Participants performed especially well in physical activity related to leisure time and transportation. Positive reinforcement is needed for patients who perform adequate levels of physical activity, and reviewing the benefits of regular physical activity is encouraged for all.

Implications for Practice Occupational status and past leisure-time physical activity before diagnosis can be indicators for promoting physical activity among postoperative esophageal cancer patients. Inactive participants should be supported to promote both physical activity and health-related qualify of life.

Author Affiliations: Graduate School of Health Management (Ms Ichijo and Drs Takeda and Oguma) and Department of Surgery, School of Medicine (Dr Kitagawa), Keio University, Tokyo; and Second Department of Surgery, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Shizuoka (Dr Takeuchi), Japan; and School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle (Dr Doorenbos).

Research in this publication was supported by the Keio SFC Academic Society (to Y.I.). This research was also supported in part by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K24NR015340 (to A.Z.D.). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Ardith Z. Doorenbos, PhD, RN, FAAN, School of Nursing, University of Washington, Box 357266, Seattle, WA 98195 (

Accepted for publication May 23, 2018.

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