Background: The purpose of the present study was to examine 1) characteristics and attitudes of oncologists toward exercise and toward recommending exercise to their patients, 2) association among oncologists' own physical activity levels, exercise recommendations, and their attitudes toward recommending exercise. Methods: A total of 167 oncologists participated in this survey study (41 surgeons, 78 medical oncologists, 25 radiation oncologists, and 21 others). Most oncologists included in the study treat more than one type of cancer, including colorectal, gastric, breast, lung, and liver cancer. To analyze the data, the one-way ANOVA, and t-test were used. All data were indicated for mean, SD, and proportions. Results: Most oncologists agreed that exercise is beneficial (72.8%) and important (69.6%), but only 39.2% of them agreed that exercise is safe, and only 7.2% believed that cancer patients manage to exercise during cancer treatment. Forty-six percentage of the surveyed oncologists recommended exercise to their patients during the past month. The average amount of participation in physical activity by oncologists who participated in the study was 139.5 ± 120.3 min per week, and 11.4% of the study participants met the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines. Oncologists' own physical activity levels were associated with their attitudes toward recommending exercise. Belief in the benefits of exercise in the performance of daily tasks, improvement of mental health, and the attenuation of physical decline from treatment were the three most prevalent reasons why oncologists recommend exercise to their patients. Barriers to recommending exercise to patients included lack of time, unclear exercise recommendations, and the safety of patients. Conclusions: Oncologists have favorable attitudes toward exercise and toward recommending exercise to their patients during treatment. However, they also experience barriers to recommending exercise, including lack of time, unclear exercise guidelines for cancer patients, and concerns regarding the safety of exercise.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research Support: The current study was supported by the national research foundation of Korea (NRF)(2013K2A1A2054437).
© Park et al.; licensee BioMed Central.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research