Publication Details

Frensham, L. J., Parfitt, G., Stanley, R. & Dollman, J. (2018). Perceived facilitators and barriers in response to a walking intervention in rural cancer survivors: A qualitative exploration. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15 (12), 2824-1-2824-13.


Physical activity has numerous associated benefits for cancer survivors. Compared to their urban counterparts, rural and remote Australians experience a health disadvantage, including poorer survival rate after the diagnosis of cancer. The purpose of this qualitative study was to (a) investigate factors that motivated or inhibited walking in rural participants during a 12-week intervention and (b) to investigate factors that motivated or inhibited physical activity behavior change three months post-intervention. Ten cancer survivors living in rural areas of South Australia participated in a 12-week computer-delivered walking-based intervention during which they reported daily steps, daily affect, and ratings of perceived exertion. Based on this information, individualized daily step goals were sent to them to increase walking. Following the intervention, participants engaged in face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and coded using thematic analysis. Participants identified a range of physical, psychological, social, environmental, and organizational motivators and barriers. Participants appreciated the monitoring and support from the research team, but some voiced a need for better transition to post-program and many desired ongoing support to maintain their motivation. Future studies should incorporate strategies to help walking behavior to become more intrinsically motivated and therefore sustained.



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