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Childhood cancer survivors’ perceptions of the barriers and facilitators to physical activity: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative evidence using the theoretical domains framework

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Morven BrownORCiD, Professor Vera Araujo-SoaresORCiD, Professor Roderick Skinner, Professor Linda Sharp



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Physical activity (PA) is recommended for childhood cancer survivors (CCSs). However, many CCSs have low levels of activity. This review aimed to systematically identify, appraise and synthesise qualitative research evidence on the barriers and facilitators to PA from the perspective of CCSs. Six databases (MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, and Scopus) were searched to identify qualitative data on PA gathered from CCSs diagnosed ≤18 years of age and who had completed active treatment. An inductive thematic synthesis was undertaken to identify descriptive themes relating to barriers and facilitators to PA, before mapping these onto the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF). Methodological quality was assessed using CASP, and confidence in review findings was assessed using the GRADE-CERQual approach. Eight original studies were eligible. A total of 45 descriptive themes (29 facilitators and 16 barriers) were mapped onto nine domains of the TDF; they were most commonly mapped onto the Environmental Context and Resources (n = 13 descriptive themes) and the Social Influences (n = 13) domains. Study quality was variable and overall confidence in review findings was low. Conclusive/strong evidence for the barriers and facilitators to PA is lacking, highlighting the need for further research on the perceived influences on PA in CCSs. PROSPERO Registration: CRD42019147829.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brown MC, Podmore M, Araujo-Soares V, Skinner R, Sharp L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health Psychology Review

Year: 2022

Volume: 17

Issue: 2

Pages: 277-300

Online publication date: 27/01/2022

Acceptance date: 10/01/2022

Date deposited: 04/04/2022

ISSN (print): 1743-7199

ISSN (electronic): 1743-7202

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/17437199.2022.2032795


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Funder referenceFunder name
CCLGA 2017 26Children`s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG)