Increasingly, research supports the importance of incorporating exercise into the cancer care paradigm. While quantitative studies have substantiated the significant effects of exercise on physical functioning, the individual’s perspective of participating in an exercise program has rarely been considered. The purpose of this study was to explain the impact of a community based exercise program on the lives of persons with cancer and their caregivers. Based on Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory, a single explanatory case study with multiple embedded units of analyses was conducted. Interviews were conducted with 10 individuals representing participants with cancer, their caregivers, and health care providers. Data were analyzed using Yin’s case study method. Four themes emerged (Sense of Community, Building Relationships, Bridging the Gap, and Living Life Abundantly), which identified the unique characteristics of this community based exercise program. Incorporation of these characteristics into program planning may benefit other communities that aspire to offer a similar program to improve patient outcomes and enhance quality of life.


This work was originally published in The Qualitative Report and NSU Works. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


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Haas, B. K., Hermanns, M., & Melin-Johansson, C. (2016). Case Study of Persons with Cancer Participating in a Community-Based Exercise Program: An Exploration of Meaning and Change.The Qualitative Report, 21(8), 1409-1424. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol21/iss8/5

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