Exercise Program Design Considerations for Head and Neck Cancer Survivors.

Adrian Midgley, Derek Lowe, Andy Levy, Vishal Mepani, Simon Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
159 Downloads (Pure)


The present study aimed to establish exercise preferences, barriers, and perceived benefits among head and neck cancer survivors, as well as their level of interest in participating in an exercise program. Patients treated for primary squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck between 2010 and 2014 were identified from the hospital database and sent a postal questionnaire pack to establish exercise preferences, barriers, perceived benefits, current physical activity levels, and quality of life. A postal reminder was sent to non-responders 4 weeks later. The survey comprised 1021 eligible patients of which 437 (43%) responded [74% male, median (interquartile range) age, 66 (60-73) years]. Of the repondents, 30% said ‘Yes’ they would be interested in participating in an exercise program and 34% said ‘Maybe’. The most common exercise preferences were a frequency of three times per week, moderate-intensity, and 15-29 minutes per bout. The most popular exercise types were walking (68%), flexibility exercises (35%), water activites/swimming (33%), cycling (31%), and weight machines (19%). Home (55%), outdoors (46%) and health club/gym (33%) were the most common preferred choices for where to regularly exercise. Percieved exercise benefits relating to improved physical attributes were commonly cited, whereas potential social and work-related benefits were less well acknowledged. The most commonly cited exercise barriers were dry mouth or throat (40%), fatigue (37%), shortness of breath (30%), muscle weakness (28%) difficulty swallowing (25%), and shoulder weakness and pain (24%). The present findings inform the design of exercise programs for head and neck cancer survivors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-179
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number275
Early online date20 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Exercise barriers
  • exercise benefits
  • exercise preferences
  • oncology
  • physical activity
  • rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Exercise Program Design Considerations for Head and Neck Cancer Survivors.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this