Poster Presentation COSA-IPOS Joint Scientific Meeting 2012

"The critical ingredients of success": Evaluation findings of a supervised exercise programme for men who have had a diagnosis of cancer. (#451)

Colleen W Kendrick , Dr. Katherine Nelson

Evidence demonstrates the benefits of exercise for those with a cancer diagnosis and there is an increasing recognition of the need to tailor exercise opportunities for specific patient groups. In May 2011, the Waikato/BOP division of the Cancer Society of New Zealand introduced a supervised, circuit-based group exercise programme specifically for men. Given this was the first known such programme in New Zealand, this study involved a process evaluation of the programme’s development and implementation. The aims of the study were to explore the experiences of the men who participated, to investigate their preferences for exercise, and identify factors essential to the ongoing design and delivery of acceptable, accessible and appropriate exercise programmes for men. The 10 male participants and the physiotherapist who delivered the programme were interviewed about their experiences of the 6 week programme. The men were aged 62-80 years with a median age of 69, had diverse professional and personal backgrounds, varied types and stages of cancer and a wide range of physical fitness. This presentation discusses how well the programme met the men's needs and what could be improved in delivering the exercise programme. It identifies some of the barriers and enablers for men participating in exercise programmes. The findings are framed within four major themes: 1) programme and purpose, 2) the importance of a safe, accessible, appropriate and inclusive programme, 3) camaraderie and the impact of competition and humour, and 4) achieving in the face of challenge. This research builds on existing knowledge and contributes to a deeper understanding of the utility and feasibility of a group based exercise programme for men and the factors that need to be considered in designing further programmes. Practicalities, possibilities and implications for practice and future research are discussed.