To understand perspectives on and acceptability of prehabilitation among patients undergoing complex abdominal cancer surgery (cytoreductive surgery with or without hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy).
Seventy-nine patients admitted to a Danish colorectal or ovarian cancer centre participated in qualitative semi-structured interviews and/or registered their prehabilitation activities based on preoperative recommendations presented in a leaflet. Malterud’s principles of systematic text condensation were used to analyse the interview data, and descriptive statistics were used to describe the activity registrations.
Five domains clarify central aspects of the patients’ perspectives on and acceptability of prehabilitation: the preoperative period, attitudes towards prehabilitation, the actual prehabilitation performed, motivation to take action and the need for support.
Patients undergoing major abdominal cancer surgery are interested in and positive towards prehabilitation, but it has to be on their terms. The patients need support and supervision, but it has to be provided in a setting and in a way that are in line with the patient’s preferences, resources and values. Thus, patient involvement is necessary to create prehabilitation programmes that are feasible and fit into patients’ everyday lives.

© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.