Exploring how nurses and people with bowel disease discuss physical activity

  • Alicia Olsen

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


People with bowel disease, namely bowel cancer, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease benefit physically and psychologically from participating in exercise and physical activity. Exercise also has the potential to reduce the risk of other diseases and comorbidities. Unfortunately, it appears that people with bowel disease are insufficiently active. As individuals with bowel disease interact with different healthcare professionals it is possible that they may receive physical activity advice during their consultations. However, how and the context within which this advice occurs is mostly unknown. Results indicate that exercise plays a positive role for those affected with bowel disease; however, physical activity counselling among nurses appeared lacking. Internet forum discussions highlighted the positive experience many people with bowel disease had through participating in exercise activities and discussing exercise among themselves. The semi-structured interviews reiterated the positive role of exercise for people with bowel disease, but concluded that experiencing a lack of physical activity counselling resulted in many unmet needs. The nursing perspective supported the findings that current physical activity counselling practices for people with bowel disease do not meet patient needs. However, the nurses were eager to improve their practices.
Date of Award7 Oct 2017
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorSally J E Sargeant (Supervisor), Justin Keogh (Supervisor) & Stephen White (Supervisor)

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