Pancreatic cancer survivors’ preferences, barriers, and facilitators related to physical activity and diet interventions

Academic Article


  • Purpose: To conduct a telephone survey establishing pancreatic cancer survivors’ level of interest in, preferences for, and perceived barriers and facilitators to participating in exercise and diet intervention programming. These data will inform the development of such interventions for newly-diagnosed patients. Methods: Seventy-one survivors treated for resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma from October 2011 to August 2014 were identified through an institutional cancer registry and contacted via telephone. A telephone survey was conducted to query survivors’ level of interest in, preferences for, and perceived barriers and facilitators to participating in an exercise and dietary intervention program shortly after disease diagnosis. Acceptability of a technology-based visual communication (e.g., Skype™, FaceTime®) intervention was also assessed. Results: Fifty participants completed the survey (response rate 71.8 %). Over two-thirds of participants reported interest in exercise and diet intervention programming. Over half reported comfort with a technology-delivered visual communication intervention. Barriers to participation included older age and physical, personal, and emotional problems. The most common facilitator was program awareness. Outcomes for future research important to participants were supportive care and quality of life. Conclusions: Most pancreatic cancer patients are interested in exercise and diet interventions shortly after diagnosis; however, some barriers to program participation exist. Implications for cancer survivors: Future research and intervention planning for pancreatic cancer survivors should focus on developing messaging and strategies that provide support for survivorship outcomes, increase survivor awareness, address lack of familiarity with technology, reduce fears about potential barriers, and help survivors overcome these barriers. In so doing, survivorship needs can be better met and quality of life improved in this understudied population.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Arthur AE; Delk A; Demark-Wahnefried W; Christein JD; Contreras C; Posey JA; Vickers S; Oster R; Rogers LQ
  • Start Page

  • 981
  • End Page

  • 989
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 6