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Lifestyle advice to cancer survivors: a qualitative study on the perspectives of health professionals

Koutoukidis, D; Lopes, S; Fisher, A; Williams, K; Croker, H; Beeken, R; (2018) Lifestyle advice to cancer survivors: a qualitative study on the perspectives of health professionals. BMJ Open , 8 , Article e020313. 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020313. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviours has shown promising effectiveness in reducing the high morbidity burden of cancer survivors. Health professionals (HPs) are well suited to provide lifestyle advice but few survivors report receiving guidance from them. This study aimed to explore HPs’ perspective of lifestyle advice (on heathy eating, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol) for cancer survivors. DESIGN: In-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted by telephone or face-to-face. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-one UK HPs working in secondary care with breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer survivors were interviewed. RESULTS: The over-arching theme was that HPs’ desire to provide lifestyle advice was not necessarily matched by knowledge and action. Three main themes were identified: 1) survivorship-centred barriers to provision, 2) HP-centred barriers to provision, and 3) optimal delivery of lifestyle advice. Results suggested that HPs’ perceptions of survivors’ current status of practising health behaviours, their perceived socio-economic barriers and ability to practise health behaviours, and HPs’ fear for potential loss of connection with the patient influenced provision of lifestyle advice. Further factors included HPs’ knowledge of healthy lifestyle guidelines, feeling that they were not the ‘right person’ to provide advice, and lack of time and resources. HPs stressed that the optimal delivery of lifestyle advice should (a) be tailored to the individual and delivered throughout the cancer journey, (b) be focused on small and achievable changes framed as part of their treatment regimen, and (c) be cost-effective for wide-scale implementation. CONCLUSIONS: Incorporation of the identified barriers when developing HP training programmes and lifestyle interventions could increase the probability of successful behaviour change and, thus, improved outcomes for cancer survivors.

Type: Article
Title: Lifestyle advice to cancer survivors: a qualitative study on the perspectives of health professionals
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020313
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020313
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Keywords: Health professionals, cancer survivors, lifestyle, guidelines, interventions
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043553
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