Perceived Benefits and Barriers to Exercise for Recently Treated Adults With Acute Leukemia

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To explore perceived exercise benefits and barriers in adults with acute leukemia who recently completed an inpatient exercise intervention during induction therapy.

Research approach

Descriptive, exploratory design using semistructured interviews.


Inpatient hematology/oncology unit at North Carolina Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill.


6 adults with acute leukemia aged 35-67 years.

Methodologic approach

Content analyses of semistructured interviews that were conducted with each participant prior to hospital discharge.


Most participants were not meeting the recommended physical activity levels of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week before their diagnosis. Patients were highly pleased with the exercise intervention and the overall program. Common barriers to exercise were anxiety and aches and pains.


Overall, participants experienced physical and psychological benefits with the exercise intervention with no adverse events from exercising regularly during induction chemotherapy. Referrals for cancer rehabilitation management will lead to prolonged recovery benefits.

Implications for nursing

Findings inform the nurses' role in encouraging and supporting adults with acute leukemia to exercise and be physically active during their hospitalization. Nurses should also be responsible for assisting patients with physical function activities to increase mobility and enhance overall health-related quality of life.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Leak Bryant, A; Walton, AL; Pergolotti, M; Phillips, B; Bailey, C; Mayer, DK; Battaglini, C

Published Date

  • July 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 44 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 413 - 420

PubMed ID

  • 28632248

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5835922

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-0688

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0190-535X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1188/17.onf.413-420


  • eng