Physical activity recommendations for cancer survivors living with bony metastases: views of oncologic healthcare providers



The potential of physical activity to improve function and quality of life of an individual with advanced cancer is now established. The purpose of this survey of oncologic healthcare providers (OHPs) is to understand their attitude towards physical activity for individuals living with bony metastases and to assess requirements to confidently provide physical activity recommendations.


A web-based survey administered through Qualtrics™ included questions on participant demographics and attitude questions ranked on a Likert scale. Eligibility was a physician or nurse practitioner currently providing care in the cancer care system of a public healthcare system in Canada. 338 participants were identified and invited to participate in this survey.


The response rate was 34.6%. The majority of OHPs believed physical activity is important (89%) and safe (82%) in individuals living with bony metastases. OHPs agreed that these individuals looked to them for physical activity recommendations (74%) and that these recommendations would be followed (58%). Yet, 86% of OHPs felt they required more information before they could recommend physical activity to individuals living with bony metastases, and less than half (43%) of OHPs felt confident enough to prescribe physical activity.


OHPs agree that physical activity for individuals living with bony metastatic cancer is beneficial and safe. However, OHPs are not confident in their ability to recommend physical activity to this population.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

There is a need to create physical activity guidelines for individuals living with bony metastases and improve access to rehabilitation services.

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This study was funded through Astellas.

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Correspondence to J. Goulart.

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Adams, J., Rauw, J., Weller, S. et al. Physical activity recommendations for cancer survivors living with bony metastases: views of oncologic healthcare providers. J Cancer Surviv (2021).

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  • Bone metastases
  • Exercise and bone metastases
  • Physician survey