A qualitative exploration of the effect of a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis on physical activity and quality of life

Andrew Scott, Natasha Walter, Monday Uwadiae, Abdulmalik Agboola Ayodeji Alaga

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Background: Physical activity is beneficial for people living with metastatic breast cancer, a cancer that has spread to other body parts such as liver, lungs and lymph nodes, but less is known about patient views on supporting them in an active lifestyle. Through a qualitative scope this study aimed to investigate the effect of a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis on physical activity and quality of life aiming to capture exercise motivators, barriers, and preferences to inform and introduce feasible and effective physical activity in treatment plans.

Methods: This study involved semi-structured interviews with eight female participants from the local Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group in Portsmouth.

Results: Reflexive thematic analysis was conducted on the data, and five higher order themes were developed: (i) Life is affected by diagnosis and treatment, (ii) Limitations to being more physically active, (iii) Physical activity’s impact on quality of life, (iv) Factors supporting/enhancing physical activity and quality of life, and (v) Actions to support physical activity and quality of life. Generally, participants reported that living with metastatic breast cancer had negatively altered their quality of life, including their ability to be physically active. Perceptions of the introduction or continuation of physical activity were welcomed. Despite the benefits and factors found to support physical activity engagement several barriers were identified, such as treatment focus and exercise misconceptions.

Conclusion: Metastatic breast cancer impacts quality of life and the ability to be physically active, being active is generally perceived to be beneficial, and social and environmental support is important to being physically active.
Original languageEnglish
Article number526
Pages (from-to)179
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Clinical Exercise Physiology
Issue numberS2
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2024
EventExercise and Sport Science Australia Research to Practice 2024 Conference - International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2 May 20244 May 2024

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