The following post was written by Stephanie Saunders who is a graduate student working in the Creative Practices Centre at the University of Ottawa.
Two of our Creative Practices Centre teams recently shared research findings with women who have experienced breast cancer and health professionals.
OurRunning after Breast Cancer project was one of the studies we shared. Women participated in the Running Room’s™ Learn to Run Clinic for Breast Cancer Survivors, which cumulated in the CIBC 5km Run for the Cure. At our presentation, we discussed four key themes that emerged from our data which consisted of audiorecordings/transcripts from individual interviews and a focus group, ‘body maps’, and weekly ‘check-ins’. The slides appearing here are quotations from participants' interviews. The four themes are summarized in the following slides, but more information can be found in the full presentation (link appears below).
The first theme represents the importance of gaining practical advice and information which survivors can apply to their recovery. During the running group, participants attended eight 30 minute seminar discussions where they were able to talk to experts in a variety of different areas and receive sound advice for their recovery.
The second theme was related to the physical fitness gains that participants experienced as a result of regular running training. This was related to the progressive program of the Running Room, which slowly increases the running time in a systematic way.
The third theme was connected to creating a sense of commitment among group members to attend the sessions. Participants expressed the importance of having a group that was counting on you to be there, and that once you were there, things were easier.
Last, a challenge emerged to find ways to address all fitness needs within the group. Given that some were just beginning running, while others had been running prior to their breast cancer diagnosis, finding a fitness training program that addressed all needs is a goal for the future.
Overall, group-based programs may help meet the informational and social support needs of some women who have experienced breast cancer.
For more information and the complete presentation: