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.