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Cancer

Ask

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Would it be OK to spend a minute talking about something many patients with cancer find really helpful?

Insight

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As cancer affects an individual’s physical activity beliefs and behaviours, focusing on this can be a useful way to introduce the topic.

Using a non-judgemental and respectful way to get a conversation about physical activity started can keep the individual actively engaged in the conversation and decision making.

If done successfully, a 1-minute conversation can plant the seed for successful behaviour change.

Did you know?

The least active individuals stand to gain the most from a small increase in physical activity

Every conversation you have with people about physical activity is important in supporting behavioural change over the life course

Download this great infographic showing the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommendations (2019) for physical activity in adults and older adults

Real impact

“Why haven’t I received [physical activity on prescription] before? I have been in pain for many years.”

“Exercises shouldn’t be framed as six weeks, but forever. It only reinforces it as a short term thing.”

“At first, you might be nervous about starting and building up your activity, especially if you haven’t been active for a while….But a little physical activity is better than none at all.”

Explain

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Many people with cancer find that moving more helps them manage their condition and symptoms, as well as improving their general wellbeing. I wonder what you make of that?

Insight

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Asking a question such as ‘what do you make of this’ allows some space for people to talk and explore the information rather than asking ‘do you understand?’ which can shut things down. They may already have a good understanding of the benefits of physical activity, so if you’re pressed for time you can ask it like this without patronising them and also offer the opportunity for them to tell you that they know it already.

Did you know?

The least active individuals stand to gain the most from a small increase in physical activity

Every conversation you have with people about physical activity is important in supporting behavioural change over the life course

Download this great infographic showing the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommendations (2019) for physical activity in adults and older adults

Real impact

“Why haven’t I received [physical activity on prescription] before? I have been in pain for many years.”

“Exercises shouldn’t be framed as six weeks, but forever. It only reinforces it as a short term thing.”

“At first, you might be nervous about starting and building up your activity, especially if you haven’t been active for a while….But a little physical activity is better than none at all.”

Invite

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Would you be interested in talking a little more about how physical activity might help with your health and wellbeing on another visit?

Arranging follow up is important after a positively received 1-minute conversation. Offer a follow up opportunity with you or a colleague appropriate to the environment you work in and resources available.

“In the meantime I could give you some further information to read if that would be of interest”

Signpost the patient information section.

Insight

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Follow up may be with you, a colleague or another service, but try to capitalise on the opportunity provided and book the next step before they leave.
If they decline a follow up appointment offer them a patient information leaflet, thank them for taking the time to talk with you about physical activity and reassure them help is available when they feel ready for change.

Did you know?

The least active individuals stand to gain the most from a small increase in physical activity

Every conversation you have with people about physical activity is important in supporting behavioural change over the life course

Download this great infographic showing the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommendations (2019) for physical activity in adults and older adults

Real impact

“Why haven’t I received [physical activity on prescription] before? I have been in pain for many years.”

“Exercises shouldn’t be framed as six weeks, but forever. It only reinforces it as a short term thing.”

“At first, you might be nervous about starting and building up your activity, especially if you haven’t been active for a while….But a little physical activity is better than none at all.”

Survey

Public Health England and partners would like to hear from healthcare professionals using the Moving Medicine website. Please follow the link below to participate in our survey. It takes around 5 minutes to complete.

The survey opens in a separate window, and is hosted by Ipsos MORI, an independent research organisation.

If you’ve previously completed this survey, thank you, please close this message.

Click here to take part