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One issue is that some oncology nurses may not be sufficiently trained or feel confident providing effective physical activity counseling to cancer survivors. This is a very real concern, according to Rose Bell, PhD, director of Professional Practice, Education and Research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in Buffalo, New York. She said greater emphasis needs to be placed on physical activity and the important role it plays.

“It is important to look at the issue of physical activity in survivorship as it not only can improve quality of life in patients but can also increase strength and potentially decrease recurrence,” Dr Bell explained.  

Bell said oncology nurses may have limited education on the best physical activities for cancer survivors and how best to address the issue with their patients. She said studies such as this one are important because they can point toward ways of improving physical activity counseling. “Future studies could focus on nurse education and implementation of interventions,” Dr Bell told Oncology Nurse Advisor.


Karvinen KH, Balneaves LG, Courneya KS, Perry B, Truant T, Vallance J. Evaluation of online learning modules for improving physical activity counseling skills, practices, and knowledge of oncology nurses. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2017;44(6):729-738.