Journal of Cancer Survivorship

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 571–591 | Cite as

A systematic review of physical activity-based behaviour change interventions reaching men with prostate cancer

  • A. Finlay
  • G. Wittert
  • C.E. Short



Men who are survivors of prostate cancer report a variety of psychological and physical factors contributing to a lower quality of life, and physical activity can assist to mitigate these issues. This review aims to provide a summary of physical activity behaviour change trials targeting prostate cancer survivors, assess the feasibility of these interventions and, if possible, identify intervention and study characteristics associated with significant intervention effects.


Four databases (PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO and EMBASE) were systematically searched for randomised controlled trials containing at least one behavioural outcome relating to physical activity published up until July 2016. Forward and backwards, hand, key author citation searching and known research were also considered.


From a total of 13, 828 titles, the search resulted in 12 studies (6 prostate cancer only and 6 mixed cancer interventions), eight of which found positive results most often related immediately to post-intervention aerobic activity. Factors relating to efficacy were not conclusive due to the heterogeneity of studies and lack of cancer-specific data in mixed cancer trials. Future research focusing on intervention reach, maintenance of intervention effects and resistance training outcomes is needed.


There is preliminary evidence to suggest that a variety of physical activity behaviour change interventions targeting men with a history of prostate cancer can be efficacious, at least in the short term. Experimental studies are required to identify key intervention features.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

Physical activity interventions can assist prostate cancer survivors in relation to short-term lifestyle change, though more evidence is required to improve the clarity of factors related to efficacy.


Prostate cancer Exercise Review Behaviour change Survivors Physical activity 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health, School of Medicine, Level 7, South Australian Health and Medical Research InstituteUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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