Table 3

Themes, codes, and categories from the interviews

Physical constraintsPostoperative syndromeLymphoedema, seroma
Limited mobility of the arm
Feeling weak
Operation-derived conditionDrain
Non-operation-derived conditionNeoadjuvant therapy
Pre-existing physical condition
Psychological resistancePerception and attitudeBelieving that daily living activities are sufficient
Unaware of the requirement of exercise
Exercise not prioritised
Not wanting to burden the body
Lack of self-efficacy regarding exercise
Psychological withdrawal
Concerns from the lack of accurate informationConcerns regarding the potential side-effects of exercise
Concerns regarding injuries
Concerns regarding the timing being inappropriate
Concerns regarding the aetiology and symptoms of the cancer – related to exercise
Own theory regarding the aetiology and the symptoms of the cancer – related to exercise
Sense of purposeEncouragement and supportFrom family
From medical professionals
From exercise therapists
From other patients with cancer
From media
Expected benefitsSpeed up the recovery
Recover from the postoperative syndrome
Health management
Muscular strength
Increase muscle mass
Improve flexibility
Prevent relapse by promoting health
General physical health
Break unhealthy lifestyle
Prevent weight gain
Maintain healthy lifestyle
First-hand experienceBenefits of exerciseReduced pain
Promoted flexibility
Increased amount of exercise
Increased physical activities
Reduced discomforts
Expedited recovery
Heightened sense of purposeAttribution of cancer to the lack of exercise
Want to exercise more
Intervention neededAccurate information and educationWant consultation regarding symptoms
Want information/education in accordance with the proper timing