Perceptions of older women with cancer participating in an exercise programme: a mixed methods pilot study

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Fourteen women over the age of 55 years with a history of cancer were followed during and after completion of a monitored exercise programme intended to improve body strength, functional performance, balance, activities of daily living and quality of life. A sequential explanatory mixed methods design was employed. The quantitative strand utilised a quasi-experimental, pretest/posttest design. The qualitative strand involved individualised interviews 2–3 months following completion of the intervention. The main outcomes were (a) physical characteristics of participants; (b) resistive tests; (c) functional ability; (d) cancer-related fatigue and (e) quality of life. Both study strands indicated that all participants showed significant improvement in resistive tests, functional ability and activities of daily living. Though quantitative results of fatigue and quality of life were statistically nonsignificant, qualitative findings indicated clinically significant improvement.

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