Physical activity and participation play an important role in improving quality of life during cancer treatment

2020-09-22 

For cancer patients, exercise support and involvement in their treatment process can be crucial factors, improving their quality of life during a difficult period of illness. This has been demonstrated by research conducted by Anna Efverman, Associate Professor of Care Science at the University of Gävle.

Anna Efverman, forskare och lärare inom vårdvetenskap, AHA. Inriktad på vårdvetenskapliga faktorer som är viktiga för patienter som genomgår cancerbehandling. Fotad 20200831.

Anna Efverman. Photo: Anna Sällberg

A cancer diagnosis is a nightmare – both for the person affected and for her or his relatives. Life is put on hold, and this is often the start of a long fight for survival. Important decisions about treatment must be made at the same time that a tolerable everyday life must continue.

– Often the focus in healthcare is mostly on the medical aspects of cancer treatment and the more caring science-related issues can really be neglected. But in such a difficult and delicate situation, the cancer patient's caring science-related needs are of great importance for the person's quality of life, says Anna Efverman.

Focuses on reducing symptoms

She is an associate professor of Caring Science and works as a senior lecturer in the Study Programme in Nursing at the University of Gävle, where she conducts both research and teaching. Her research deals with the caring science aspects of caring for a patient before, during and after cancer treatment.

– My research focuses on reducing symptoms and increasing function, activity and work ability during long-term illnesses, especially those linked to cancer. This may involve supporting patients so that they can have a better everyday life during and beyond their bout with cancer, facilitating their return to work, improving quality of life and promoting a healthy life.

Anna Efverman, forskare och lärare inom vårdvetenskap, AHA. Inriktad på vårdvetenskapliga faktorer som är viktiga för patienter som genomgår cancerbehandling. Fotad 20200831.

Anna Efverman. Photo: Anna Sällberg

Recently, Anna Efverman presented a study that dealt with patients' experiences of participation in decisions about cancer treatment in healthcare. In her investigation, Anna Efverman saw major differences due to, e.g. age, gender, level of education, civil status, etc.

– Participation is important, because people who feel that they are more involved in the treatment decision experience better quality of life both during and after their cancer treatment. The results indicated that the groups that experienced less participation included men, the elderly, people who did not live with a partner, and people with lower function in everyday life and work, but also highly educated people. This may be related to what ability, but also what expectations, different people have when it comes to their involvement in the treatment decision, she says.

This is an article från the magazine LEVE!, a publication from the University of Gävle.

Read the magazine on the University's website.

Published by: Anna Sällberg Page responsible: Veronica Liljeroth Updated: 2020-09-22
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