Development of an evidence-informed recommendation guide to facilitate physical activity counseling between oncology care providers and patients in Canada

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Fong, Angela
Sabiston, Catherine
Nadler, Michelle
Sussman, Jonathan
Langley, Hugh
Holden, Rachel
Stokes-Noonan, Michaela
Tomasone, Jennifer
Exercise , Physical activity , Cancer survivor , Knowledge translation , Oncology care
Decision support aids help reduce decision conflict and are reported as acceptable by patients. Currently, an aid from the American College of Sports Medicine exists to help oncology care providers advise, assess, and refer patients to physical activity (PA). However, some limitations include the lack of specific resources and programs for referral, detailed PA, and physical function assessments and not being designed following an international gold standard (Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation [AGREE] II). This study aimed to develop a recommendation guide to facilitate PA counseling by assessing the risk for PA-related adverse events and offering a referral to an appropriate recommendation. Recommendation guide development followed AGREE II, and an AGREE methodologist was consulted. Specifically, a stakeholder group of oncology care providers and cancer survivors were engaged to develop the assessment criteria for comorbidities, PA levels, and physical function. Assessment criteria were developed from published PA interventions, consultations with content experts, and targeted web-based searches for cancer-specific PA programs. Feedback on the recommendation guide was solicited from stakeholders and external reviewers with relevant knowledge and clinical experience. Independent AGREE methodologists appraised the development process. The recommendation guide is a five-page document, including a preamble, assessment criteria for absolute contraindications to PA, comorbidities, and PA/functional capacity with a list of appropriate resources. Independent AGREE methodologists rated the development process as strong and recommended the guide for use. The recommendation guide has the potential to facilitate PA counseling between oncology care providers and cancer survivors, thus, potentially impacting PA behavior.