Counselling promotes exercise in cancer patients
In patients with cancer, exercise counselling promotes adequate levels of postdiagnosis physical activity (PA), a new study has found. However, physicians need to take into consideration the patients’ past experiences with exercise.
Researchers enrolled 1,002 cancer patients (mean age, 59±12.4 years; 59 percent female) who were asked about their pre- and postdiagnosis involvement in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), as well as whether they received exercise counselling from their physician or not. Counselling was defined by the 5A framework: Assess, Advise, Agree, Assist, and Arrange.
Of the 5As, Advise (68.5 percent) and Assess (44.9 percent) were the most frequently reported steps. Agree, Assist (<8 percent for both), and Arrange (11.9 percent) were far behind. Despite this, most of the participants were either satisfied (45.7 percent) or very satisfied (20.7 percent) with exercise counselling.
Exercise counselling was positively correlated with postdiagnosis MVPA (p<0.001). The researchers found that this effect was significant only among those who were inactive before having been diagnosed with cancer (p=0.007) and not in those who were already physically active (p=0.264).
Satisfaction levels with counselling likewise emerged as a significant incentive to postdiagnosis MVPA (p=0.048), although this effect was only significant in those who were already active (p=0.009).
“Our findings suggest that people with cancer might benefit from counseling that is tailored to their individual exercise experience,” researchers said. “Supporting physicians in providing an effective exercise consultation that is based on their patients’ PA experiences and establishing broader networks with exercise specialists are potential key points for a successful implementation of exercise counseling into the clinical routine.”