Physical Activity in Long-term Breast Cancer Survivors - a Mixed-Methods Approach
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBreast. 2019, 46 126-135. 10.1016/j.breast.2019.05.014
Objectives: Traditional methods measuring physical activity (PA) may misrepresent breast cancer survivors (BCSs) and low-socio-economic status (SES) groups. This study identifies PA-levels, routines and experiences among BCSs, in general and by SES, and explores whether a mixed-methods approach might unveil diversities of PA in BCS across SES. Materials and Methods: 250 BCSs referred to postoperative radiation therapy in 2007-2008 participated in a longitudinal follow-up study examining health-related quality-of-life and late-effects. Subsample-data on SES and PA were collected by questionnaires (n=52), activity-logs (n=52) and interviews (n=37). Parallel mixed analyses were conducted, in combination with sequential, full-sample analyses of questionnaires and contrasting case analyses of logs and interviews. Results: Dependent on which measurement used, 23%, 35%, 54% and 63% of BCSs met PA guidelines. Questionnaire-data revealed no significant differences in PA levels between SES groups. Log-data showed more PA bouts in high-SES BCSs, but no difference in min/week across SES. Neighbourhood walking was preferred, while scheduled exercise was rare. Interview-data added that PA was medicating, normatively described and accompanied by unfulfilled ambitions, particularly in low-SES BCSs. Balancing duties and activities was demanding. PA constraints were similar across groups. Domestic PA was important in low-SES, while high- SES BCSs described more energy. Conclusion: Although PA levels among BCSs were similar across SES and equal to PA in the general population, SES differences became evident when measured by activity-logs and as stated in interviews. Future follow-up programs for BCSs could benefit from expanding the PA perspectives, thus better meet the needs of different SES groups.