Football Fitness as a meaningful driver of occupational identity in female breast cancer survivors

Sidsel Damsgaard Thomsen*, Freja Alexandra Schjødt Garboe, Anette Enemark Larsen, Jacob Uth, Peter Krustrup, Esben Elholm Madsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: While exercise after breast cancer treatment is important, some breast cancer survivors (BCS) find it difficult to maintain motivation for physical activity (PA). Objectives: To investigate Danish female BCS’ motivation to play Football Fitness (FF) after the termination of a research project (Football Fitness After Breast Cancer), and whether the participation influenced occupational identity and adaptation. Methods: Two qualitative focus group interviews with seven female BCS (53 ± 5 years; Mage ± SD) were performed. The interviews were analyzed to identify the forms of motivation experienced according to Self-Determination Theory using thematic analysis. Results: Due to increasing connections and recognition of one another, FF gradually became meaningful and a part of the women’s occupational identity. They experienced increasing cohesion and competence through common experiences, thus increasingly identifying as a unit. The women reported that they gradually adopted healthier lifestyles by participating in FF, which positively impacted other diagnoses for some. Conclusion: Recognition of one another impacted intrinsic motivation. Similarly, as the women felt more competent playing FF, it became a part of their occupational identity leading to an effective adaptation. Access to FF as an integral part of rehabilitation for female BCS may be a way to support long-term PA and to adapt a new occupational identity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Volume86
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)482-492
ISSN0308-0226
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • football
  • Model of Human Occupation
  • Self-Determination Theory

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