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'Critical Ingredients of Success': Exercise for Men : Exploring the Preferences and Experiences of Men Who have Had a Diagnosis of Cancer

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posted on 12.11.2021, 19:42 by Kendrick, Colleen

Evidence demonstrates the benefits of exercise for those with a cancer diagnosis and there is an increasing recognition of the need to tailor exercise opportunities for specific patient groups. However, little is known about the preferences and experiences of exercise in men who have had a diagnosis of cancer. In May 2011, the Waikato/Bay of Plenty division of the Cancer Society of New Zealand introduced a supervised, circuit-based group exercise programme specifically for men. Given this was the first known such programme in New Zealand, this study involved a process evaluation of the programme‘s development and implementation. The aims of the study were to explore the experiences of the men who participated, to investigate their preferences for exercise, and identify factors essential to the ongoing design and delivery of acceptable, accessible and appropriate exercise programmes for men. The 10 male participants and the physiotherapist who delivered the programme were interviewed about their experiences of the 6 week programme. The men were aged 62-80 years with a median age of 69, had diverse professional and personal backgrounds, varied types and stages of cancer and a wide range of physical fitness. The interview data were analysed using an inductive, thematic approach. The programme met the men's needs and each felt invigorated for attending. The men all wanted the programme to continue. Four major themes emerged: 1) the importance of a safe, inclusive programme, 2) camaraderie and the impact of competition and humour, 3) acceptability of the programme and its purpose, and 4) the overall value of the programme. This research builds on existing knowledge and contributes to a deeper understanding of the utility and feasibility of a group-based exercise programme for men, and the factors that need to be considered in designing further programmes. Practicalities, possibilities and implications for practice and future research are discussed. These include the use of simple transferable resources and the ease in which this flexible programme could be further developed and expanded, the value of a multidisciplinary approach, and the potential multiple benefits for men‘s health care.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts (Applied)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health


Nelson, Katherine