Oncologist’s Behaviours and Perceptions of Physical Activity Promotion

Bruno Rodrigues, Catarina Ribeiro, Jorge Encantado, António Labisa Palmeira


Aim: Describe and explore the determinants of PA (physical activity) promotion by oncologists, analyse the perception of the capacity, opportunity and motivation of oncologists in the promotion of PA, analyse the concerns related to the practice of PA in cancer patients. Method: A total of 76 oncologists completed a questionnaire to assess demographics, perception of capacity, opportunity, motivation, behaviour, felt needs, and other characterisation questions. Statistical analyses were conducted using Pearson and Spearman correlations, Linear Multiple Regression, Parametric and non-parametric T-test. Results: Results found indicate low levels of capacity and opportunity to promote PA despite the high level of motivation to do so. Most oncologists promote PA but do not promote structured exercise. However, they recognise its importance. Capacity is the most relevant variable, but all variables have meaningful contributions to explain the behaviour. It is stated the need for better conditions for PA promotion. Conclusion: Results should be analysed carefully due to the small sample size. Oncologists value the practice of PA by patients but they don’t feel capable to discuss and prescribe it to their patients, which legitimises the exercise physiologists presence in healthcare services. Therefore, the presence of exercise physiologists can be a facilitator of exercise and PA promotion.


cancer; physical activity; oncologists; exercise physiologist; COM-B