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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Rachel Walker

Second Advisor

Memnun Seven

Third Advisor

John Sirard

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences


Annually, over 1 million adolescents and young adults (YA) are diagnosed with cancer. Cancer survivorship rates in YA are greater than 80%, yet late and long-term symptoms that impact biopsychosocial health persist for this population. Health promotion strategies, including physical activity, are being used to mitigate symptom burden in adults. Research specific to physical activity use in YA is limited. This dissertation addresses physical activity use in YA cancer survivorship. Chapter one of this dissertation introduces the critical need to understand the state of the science of physical activity use on the biological and psychosocial health of YA affected by cancer.

In chapter two, guided by the Revised Symptom Management Theory, we conducted a scoping review with the aim of exploring existing research on physical activity use in YA cancer survivors. A literature search was conducted and findings of 35 review articles were reported.

In Chapter three an overview of the study’s design and methods are reported. A four-round modified Delphi study with multidisciplinary experts (Round I/II n =18; Round III n = 57, Round IV n = 45) in exercise oncology, symptom management, survivorship care, and Adolescent and YA (AYA) cancer care was conducted. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were calculated. In addition, we report results from study aim one; to identify expert consensus areas on the impact of physical activity on the biopsychosocial health of YA cancer survivors.

In Chapter four, we report results from study aim two: to identify expert consensus areas on assessing, prescribing and implementing physical activity as a symptom management strategy in YA cancer survivorship; identify areas of clinical relevance and endorsement of physical activity as a symptom management strategy in YA cancer survivorship.

Chapter five summarizes the findings of this dissertation in the context of clinical and research implications, knowledge translation and future research needed.

Key Takeaways/Innovations/Implications

The key take away of this expert consensus study is the elevation of physical activity as a symptom management strategy at all points of the caner care continuum.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Sunday, November 14, 2021