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Apr 2019 - Oct 2021

Barriers to and facilitators of physical activity in cancer patients with brain tumours in Wales and Bangladesh



Funding Amount



Dr Ishrat Islam

Cancer Type


Funding Type




Research Type

Cancer Control, survivorship and outcomes research

The research team interviewed 10 high-grade glioma patients and their carers on the topic of physical activity and exercise after a glioma diagnosis. Patients from both Wales and Bangladesh were interviewed to explore how remaining active was experienced by patients from these two very different countries.


  • All patients interviewed in Wales were aware of the benefits of physical activity but often thought of “being busy in daily life” as “being active”. In Bangladesh, most patients had only a very basic (or no) understanding of what “being active” means and what benefits it might have.
  • Covid19-related restrictions in Wales negatively impacted on all patients’ activity and fitness levels. Remaining active while on chemotherapy was difficult due to e.g. fatigue and feeling unwell. After treatment, not feeling the need to exercise more or not seeing oneself as an “exercise person” were obstacles to being more active.
  • Bangladeshi patients were interviewed while in hospital, being physically too unwell to be active.
  • Most patients in Wales were open to the idea of participating in a regular exercise programme if offered. They varied, however, in what kinds of activities they would be interested in (e.g. home vs group exercises) and expressed how important it would be that such programmes are tailored to their individual needs. Patients were motivated by the potential for positive effects on their physical and mental wellbeing and the opportunity to be active with others.
  • Patients in Bangladesh were generally interested in an exercise programme (once recovered) but the location of the programme and costs were potential issues.


Finding out more about patients’ lived experience of remaining active at different stages after their diagnosis is important: It can help raise awareness of better self-management strategies among patients and their families and help healthcare professionals

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