Evidence-based physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors: Current guidelines, knowledge gaps and future research directions

  • L.M. Buffart
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +31 20 444 9931; fax: +31 20 444 8387.
    Affiliations
    EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and the VU University Medical Center, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Tel.: +61 8 6304 3420; fax: +61 8 6304 2499.
    D.A. Galvão
    Footnotes
    1 Tel.: +61 8 6304 3420; fax: +61 8 6304 2499.
    Affiliations
    Edith Cowan University Health and Wellness Institute, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    2 Tel.: +31 20 444 8192; fax: +31 20 444 8171.
    J. Brug
    Footnotes
    2 Tel.: +31 20 444 8192; fax: +31 20 444 8171.
    Affiliations
    EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and the VU University Medical Center, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Author Footnotes
    3 Tel.: +31 20 444 8203; fax: +31 20 444 8387.
    M.J.M. Chinapaw
    Footnotes
    3 Tel.: +31 20 444 8203; fax: +31 20 444 8387.
    Affiliations
    EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and the VU University Medical Center, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Author Footnotes
    4 Tel.: +61 8 6304 3443; fax: +61 8 6304 5106.
    R.U. Newton
    Footnotes
    4 Tel.: +61 8 6304 3443; fax: +61 8 6304 5106.
    Affiliations
    Edith Cowan University Health and Wellness Institute, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Tel.: +61 8 6304 3420; fax: +61 8 6304 2499.
    2 Tel.: +31 20 444 8192; fax: +31 20 444 8171.
    3 Tel.: +31 20 444 8203; fax: +31 20 444 8387.
    4 Tel.: +61 8 6304 3443; fax: +61 8 6304 5106.

      Abstract

      Physical activity during and after cancer treatment has beneficial effects on a number of physical and psychosocial outcomes. This paper aims to discuss the existing physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors and to describe future research directions to optimize prescriptions. Studies on physical activity during and after cancer treatment were searched in PubMed, Clinicaltrials.gov, Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, and Dutch Trial registry. Physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors suggest that physical activity should be an integral and continuous part of care for all cancer survivors. However, the development of these guidelines has been limited by the research conducted. To be able to develop more specific guidelines, future studies should focus on identifying clinical, personal, physical, psychosocial, and intervention moderators explaining ‘for whom’ or ‘under what circumstances’ interventions work. Further, more insight into the working mechanisms of exercise interventions on health outcomes in cancer survivors is needed to improve the efficacy and efficiency of interventions. Finally, existing programs should embrace interests and preferences of patients to facilitate optimal uptake of interventions. In conclusion, current physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors are generic, and research is needed to develop more personalized physical activity guidelines.

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