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Regular exercise is recommended to mitigate the adverse effects of androgen deprivation therapy in men with prostate cancer. The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of transition to unsupervised, community-based exercise among men who had participated in a hospital-based supervised exercise programme in order to propose components that supported transition to unsupervised exercise.
Participants were selected by means of purposive, criteria-based sampling. Men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy who had completed a 12-week hospital-based, supervised, group exercise intervention were invited to participate. The programme involved aerobic and resistance training using machines and included a structured transition to a community-based fitness centre. Data were collected by means of semi-structured focus group interviews and analysed using thematic analysis.
Five focus group interviews were conducted with a total of 29 men, of whom 25 reported to have continued to exercise at community-based facilities. Three thematic categories emerged: Development and practice of new skills; Establishing social relationships; and Familiarising with bodily well-being. These were combined into an overarching theme: From learning to doing. Components suggested to support transition were as follows: a structured transition involving supervised exercise sessions at a community-based facility; strategies to facilitate peer support; transferable tools including an individual exercise chart; and access to ‘check-ups’ by qualified exercise specialists.
Hospital-based, supervised exercise provides a safe learning environment. Transferring to community-based exercise can be experienced as a confrontation with the real world and can be eased through securing a structured transition, having transferable tools, sustained peer support and monitoring.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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