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Exploration of information and support needs in relation to health concerns, diet and physical activity in colorectal cancer survivors.

ABSTRACT

The purpose of the current study was to explore colorectal cancer survivors' information and support needs in relation to health concerns and health behaviour change. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with participants who had completed active treatment for cancer within the previous 2 years. Participants were colorectal cancer survivors (N = 24, men = 11, women = 13 M, age = 69.38 years, SD = 4.19) recruited from a hospital in Perth, Australia on the basis that they had existing morbidities that put them at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis.Five main themes emerged: bowel changes; Lack of knowledge concerning healthy eating and physical activity; conflicting information; desire for support; and, need for simple messages and strategies to stay healthy. Where dietary recommendations were provided, these were to resolve bowel problems rather than to promote healthy eating. The provision of lifestyle advice from the oncologists is limited and patients' lack knowledge of guidelines for diet and physical activity. Oncologists could provide patients with clear messages from the World Cancer Research Fund (); that is to increase physical activity and dietary fibre and reduce consumption of red meat, processed meat, alcohol and body fatness.