Activity and advanced cancer : A grounded theory

Lowe, Sonya S and Milligan, Christine and Brearley, Sarah G (2020) Activity and advanced cancer : A grounded theory. Palliative Medicine, 34 (2). pp. 231-244. ISSN 0269-2163

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Background: Cancer-related fatigue and loss of physical functioning are distressing symptoms which negatively impact the quality of life of people with advanced cancer. Physical activity has been shown to have positive effects on these symptoms in early-stage cancer, but previous research demonstrated an incongruence between people with advanced cancer’s expressed interest and actual participation in a physical activity intervention. Aim: To gain an in-depth understanding of the experience of activity and quality of life in people with advanced cancer, using a classic grounded theory approach. Design: Through the post-positivist lens of subtle realism, and informed by classic grounded theory methods, a two-phase, cross-sectional, qualitative study was conducted. For 7 days duration, participants wore an activPAL™ activity monitor and completed a daily record sheet, which were then used as qualitative probes for face-to-face, semi-structured interviews. Setting/participants: A total of 15 people with advanced cancer, aged 18 years or older, and with a median survival of 100 days from time of study consent, were recruited from an outpatient department of a tertiary cancer centre in Alberta, Canada. Findings: Maintaining their responsibilities, no matter how small, was the prime motive for participants’ behaviour. For people with advanced cancer, the minimum level of responsibility was dynamic and unique. It was achieved through a multifaceted interaction between the perceived benefits, prevailing conditions and mechanisms. Conclusion: This grounded theory enables understanding of activity as a mechanism through which responsibility is managed and may inform future behavioural interventions in people with advanced cancer.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Palliative Medicine
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Palliative Medicine, 34 (2), 2020, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Palliative Medicine page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? grounded theoryexercisepalliative careneoplasmsquality of lifeanesthesiology and pain medicinemedicine(all) ??
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Deposited On:
08 Jan 2020 10:55
Last Modified:
18 Jun 2024 00:32