Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Awareness and attitudes of oncology physicians recommending exercise to patients with cancer

Sibel Ünsal Delialioğlu 1 ,Sibel Mandıroğlu 1 ,Fatih Göksel 2
1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Abdurrahman Yurtaslan Ankara Oncology Trainig and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Dr. Abdurrahman Yurtaslan Ankara Oncology Trainig and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tftrd.2021.7120 Objectives: The aim of our study was to evaluate oncology physicians` attitudes and awareness toward recommending exercise to their patients with cancer.

Patients and methods: A total of 86 oncology physicians (52 males, 34 females; mean age: 46.7±10.9 years; range, 26 to 60 years) were included in the study between June 2019 and September 2019. A questionnaire was prepared to evaluate the physicians' perspectives about exercise and it consisted of five main sections including the physician's exercise habits, physicians` attitudes toward recommending exercise, the effects of exercise on cancer-related symptoms and cancer treatments, whether there was an exercise unit in the hospital, and whether the physician was referring the patients and on which subjects the physicians were willing to receive training.

Results: A total of 87.2% of the physicians recommended exercise to their patients. There were three reasons for physicians who did not recommend exercise: `I don`t have enough training to recommend exercise; I don`t know which type of exercise to recommend; and I don`t know what I should pay attention while recommending exercise.` A total of 83.7% physicians considered that exercise reduced the symptoms associated with cancer. A total of 73.3%, 64%, and 80.2% physicians believed that exercise increased the effectiveness of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy, respectively. About 94.2% of the physicians were willing to be trained on the effects of exercise in cancer.

Conclusion: Oncology physicians believe that exercise has positive effects on cancer; however, they still need training on this subject. Keywords : Awareness, cancer, clinicians, exercise, oncology