Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 927–934 | Cite as

Physical activity participation and barriers for people with multiple myeloma

  • Melinda Craike
  • Kaye Hose
  • Patricia M. Livingston
Original Article



This study aims to examine, for people treated for multiple myeloma, (1) differences between prediagnosis and postdiagnosis levels of physical activity, (2) perceived barriers and likelihood of attending a physical activity program, and (3) factors that influence whether or not respondents are meeting physical activity guidelines.


This was a quantitative cross-sectional study; data were gathered from a larger Australian population-wide survey. Respondents completed the survey in hard copy, online, or over the telephone. Demographic and clinical variables included age, gender, locality, time since diagnosis, and marital status. The Godin Leisure-Time Questionnaire measured physical activity; barriers and likelihood of participating in a physical activity program were assessed using a five-point Likert scale. Data were analyzed using descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate analyses.


Of the 229 respondents, 53.1 % were male, 42 % aged 60–69 years, and 75.7 % were married or in a de facto relationship. Participation in physical activity declined significantly from prediagnosis levels. Fatigue, injuries, and pain were the strongest perceived barriers to participation; 41 % reported they were likely to attend an exercise program if offered. Respondents who were sufficiently active before diagnosis were 4.79 times more likely to be sufficiently active posttreatment.


People with multiple myeloma reported very low levels of physical activity across all levels of intensity; however, they were interested in attending a physical activity program. To increase physical activity among people with multiple myeloma, interventions should target perceived barriers with a particular focus on those who were not physically active prior to diagnosis.


Multiple myeloma Physical activity Exercise Barriers 



We would like to thank Mr. Anthony Steele, General Support Services Manager at the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia, and Ms Mary Plumb, Research Consultant at Sweeney Research, Melbourne, for their assistance with the study. This study was funded by The Leukaemia Foundation of Australia.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Australia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melinda Craike
    • 1
  • Kaye Hose
    • 2
  • Patricia M. Livingston
    • 1
  1. 1.Deakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.Leukaemia Foundation AustraliaPrestonAustralia

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