Effectiveness of a community based exercise program for cancer survivors — ASN Events

Effectiveness of a community based exercise program for cancer survivors (#102)

Prue Cormie 1 , Robert U Newton 1 , Lani Valentine 2 , Sandy McKiernan 2 , Nigel Spry 1 3 , Dennis R Taaffe 1 4 , Daniel A Galvao 1
  1. Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia
  2. Cancer Council Western Australia, Shenton Park, WA, Australia
  3. Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA, Australia
  4. University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, NSW, Australia

The majority of cancer survivors do not participate in sufficient exercise and there is a paucity of research investigating the effectiveness of ‘real life’ exercise interventions. Aim. To determine if an exercise program administered as it would be in a standard supportive care service setting improves the health and well-being of cancer survivors. Methods. 265 survivors (gender: 192 female, 73 male; age: 60±12years; BMI: 27±5) within 2 years of a cancer diagnosis participated in this investigation. Participants had been diagnosed with one of 30 different types of cancer, predominately breast–42%, prostate–11%, bowel–8% and lymphomas–8%. Between 2011-2012 participants self-enrolled in a 3-month community-based exercise program involving aerobic and resistance exercise supervised by accredited exercise physiologists across 12 clinics/fitness centres in metropolitan and regional WA. Assessments were conducted at baseline, post-intervention and 6-months follow-up. Results. 193 participants (73%) completed the program attending an average 18±5 out of a possible 24 sessions. No adverse events occurred during the exercise sessions. Significant (p≤0.05) improvements were observed post-intervention in diastolic blood pressure (-2.6mmHg, 95%CI:-1.2– -3.9), waist circumference (-1cm, 95%CI:-0.3– -1.7), physical function (400m walk -18s, 95%CI:-2– -25; repeated chair rise -2.3s, 95%CI:-1.9– -2.7), quality of life (all domains of the SF-36 1.1–3.6 NBS, 95%CI:0.1–6.0), fatigue (FACIT-F -2.6, 95%CI:-1.1– -4.1) and psychological distress (BSI-18 -1.1, 95%CI:-0.3– -1.9). 148 participants (56%) completed the 6-month follow-up assessment (questionnaires only). Significant improvements in all domains of quality of life (1.7–5.3 NBS, 95%CI:0.2–6.8), fatigue (-5.1, 95%CI:-3.5– -6.9) and psychological distress (-1.3, 95%CI:-0.1– -2.4) remained. The estimated monthly medical expenditure (SF-6D utility index) for participants was reduced significantly at post-intervention (-$44, 95%CI:-$26– -$62) and follow-up (-$86, 95%CI:-$32– -$140). Conclusions. A community-based exercise program of just 3 months in duration results in significant and sustained improvements in the health and well-being of cancer survivors.