Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Mainstreaming Exercise into Cancer Care: Adherence to and outcomes of a prescribed exercise program “Active Survivor” for patients with solid cancers. (#344)

Sayeda K Naher 1 , Diana Adams 1 , Bobby Cheema 2 , Kurt Fittler 3 , Belinda E Kiely 1 4
  1. Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre, Campbelltown., Campbelltown, NSW, Australia
  2. Sport and Exercise, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW, Australia
  3. Health Solutions, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia
  4. Medical Oncology, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord, NSW, Australia


The need to integrate exercise into standard practice in cancer care is being increasingly called for by cancer organisations. From July 2016, MCTC invited outpatients to participate in a program run by Health Solutions, a local exercise physiology provider. We aim to describe the participants, adherence and outcomes for the initial 11 months.


The exercise program involved: supervised group sessions (60 minutes, twice per week), including resistance, aerobic, and balance training, and self-directed exercise training (>30 minutes, twice per week). The following parameters were recorded at baseline, 8 and 16 weeks: brief fatigue inventory (BFI) (higher score = more fatigue), quality of life (QOL) (higher score = better QOL), waist circumference (WC), body weight (BW), 6 minute walk (6MWT) (longer distance = better performance) and sit to stand (STS) (number of times patient comes to a full standing position in 30 seconds, higher number = better performance). Demographics and cancer details were collected from the oncology electronic medical record.


71 patients attended ≥1 supervised session.  54 participants (76%) completed 8 weeks  and 39 (55%) completed 16 weeks. Most were female (59, 83%); with breast cancer (52, 73%) and early stage cancer (52, 73%). The median age of participants was 61 years (range 34-84).  Median values at baseline, 8 and 16 weeks respectively for each parameter were: BFI scores 4, 3 and 2; QOL scores 76, 83 and 88; WC 104cm, 102cm, 100cm; and BW 83kg, 81kg, 81kg. Median 6MWT distance improved from 397m (baseline) to 455m (8 weeks) and 484m (16 weeks). STS improved from a median of 12 at baseline to 15 at 8 weeks and 16 at 16 weeks.


A successful exercise programme for cancer patients has been launched. We will present reasons for reduced adherence and measures to improve this initiative.