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