Designing viable, durable physical activity programs for cancer survivors: reflections from program participants and organizational leaders

M. Madison Kindred, Chigozie A. Nkwonta, Marissa L. Beal, De Anne K.H. Messias, Bernardine M. Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Despite recommendations for cancer survivors to participate in routine physical activity (PA), offering programs that fit both survivors’ needs and sponsoring organizations’ resources remains a challenge. The purpose of this study is to explore the perspectives of cancer survivors and organizational stakeholders with the intent of developing PA peer-led programs that organizations can implement into their programming. Methods: This study explored cancer survivors’ (n = 11) and cancer care organizational stakeholders’ (n = 27) perspectives on the design and feasibility of PA programs targeted for cancer survivors. Semi-structured interview guides were developed for survivors and stakeholders; interviews lasted approximately 30 min. Two analysts used a thematic analysis approach and independently conducted a line-by-line coding of each transcript. With guidance from a senior analyst, the codes were collapsed into themes and subthemes. Results: The qualitative analysis of the interview data resulted in seven major themes relating to PA program development and success. Survivor-related themes included the following: (1) developing PA programs based on cancer survivors’ characteristics and experiences; (2) perceived value and importance of accessible, face-to-face instruction; (3) ensuring success based on physical abilities and limitations of the survivor; and (4) the value of physician recommendation for PA participation. Organization-related themes included the following: (1) incorporating participant and community input into program offerings; (2) program feasibility and sustainability; (3) incorporating organizational experience when adopting new program initiatives. Conclusion: These findings highlight the challenges of developing viable PA programs for cancer survivors and may guide organizations in future program development and implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number84
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology

Cite this