Barriers to translation of physical activity into the lung cancer model of care: A qualitative study of clinicians' perspectives.

AuthorsGranger, CL.
Denehy, L.
Remedios, L.
Retica, S.
Phongpagdi, P.
Hart, N.
Parry, SM
TypeJournal Article (Original Research)
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Year of Publication2016
Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines recommend physical activity (physical activity) for people with lung cancer, however evidence has not translated into clinical practice and the majority of patients do not meet recommended activity levels.
To identify factors (barriers and enablers) that influence clinicians' translation of the physical activity guidelines into practice.
Qualitative study involving 17 participants (three respiratory physicians, two thoracic surgeons, two oncologists, two nurses, eight physical therapists) who were recruited using purposive sampling from five hospitals in Melbourne, Australia. Nine semi-structured interviews and a focus group were conducted, transcribed verbatim and independently crosschecked by a second researcher. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data.
Five consistent themes emerged: 1) the clinicians perception of patient-related physical and psychological influences (including symptoms and comorbidities) that impact on patient's ability to perform regular physical activity; 2) the influence of the patient's past physical activity behaviour and their perceived relevance and knowledge about physical activity; 3) the clinicians own knowledge and beliefs about physical activity; 4) workplace culture supporting or hindering physical activity; and 5) environmental and structural influences in the healthcare system (included clinicians time, staffing, protocols and services). Clinicians described potential strategies including: 1) the opportunity for nurse practitioners to act as champions of regular physical activity and triage referrals for physical activity services; 2) opportunistically using the time when patients are in hospital post-surgery to discuss physical activity; and 3) for all members of the multi-disciplinary team to provide consistent messages to patients about the importance of physical activity.
Key barriers to implementation of the physical activity guidelines in lung cancer are diverse and include both clinician and healthcare system related factors. A combined approach to target a number of these factors should be used to inform research, improve clinical services and develop policies aiming to increase physical activity and improve survivorship outcomes for patients with lung cancer.

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