Can more be done? – A qualitative study of breast cancer survivors’ perspectives on regular walking exercise to improve post-chemotherapy neurotoxicity impairments

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity in breast cancer survivors requires attention as their population are increasing. Limited qualitative study is known about breast cancer survivors' perspectives on regular walking exercise to improve post-chemotherapy neurotoxicity impairments in their free-living setting. This study explored regular walking exercise to improve post-chemotherapy neurotoxicity impairments from breast cancer survivors’ perspectives. Methods: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted. A purposive sample of 15 participants experiencing neurotoxicity impairments was invited to semi-structured interviews. Textual interview data were managed in NVivo. Content analysis was performed. Results: Participants were aged 39–68 and had received 4–8 cycles of chemotherapy. Most (86.7%, n = 13) reported engaging in regular walking exercise. Four main categories emerged from the data: (1) perceived effects of regular exercise on neurotoxicity impairments, (2) unmet information needs, (3) regular walking habit being self-sustained, and (4) enablers and constraints of regular walking exercise. Conclusions: Walking exercise, as commonly employed by participants in their free-living setting, was the essence in the management of chemotherapy-induced neurotoxic conditions during survivorship. Participants undertaking walking exercise lacked informed and individualized information about the regular walking exercise regime, and vigilance to evaluate post-exercise neurotoxic conditions. These might be the unmet needs of this research area and in clinical practice. Assessing and addressing individualized endeavors in a walking exercise regime will continue to be a vital component of cancer supportive care to fill the unmet information needs in survivorship.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102432
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Volume67
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • CIPN
  • Cognitive decline
  • Post-chemotherapy neurotoxicity
  • Qualitative descriptive study
  • Walking exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

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