To provide an evidence-based, collaborative, cost effective and sustainable program to improve the wellbeing of cancer survivors, their partners, family and carers.
Cancer survivors experience complex health needs following cancer treatment. The ENRICH (Exercise and Nutrition Routine Improving Cancer Health) program was developed for cancer survivors, their partners, family and carers to address some of their unmet needs. ENRICH is a 6 (six) week face to face evidence-based program and integrates health behaviour change models, chronic disease self-management tools and social cognitive theory. Key principles include skill development, personal monitoring, goal setting and problem solving. An enhanced version of the ENRICH program known as the ENRICHing Survivorship program, which is an 8 (eight) week program, incorporates peer support and yoga and mindfulness into the program.
Cancer Council NSW collaborates with allied health professionals in cancer treatment centres to deliver the ENRICHing Survivorship program. The strategy involves:
- open access to a free and comprehensively evaluated program (eligibility criteria applies)
- Cancer Council NSW provides program promotion, administration and resources
- health professionals in the treatment centres refer participants to the program
- treatment centres providing qualified staff to facilitate the program content and venue.
Evaluation of 149 participants (15 programs) reported improvements in their:
- general health 83%
- level of fatigue 68%
- sleeping habits 71%
- feelings of worry and anxiety 78%
- feelings of sadness and depression 76%
Education regarding nutrition, exercise and mindset may result in reduced comorbidities and chronic health conditions in cancer survivors, reducing healthcare costs. Further investigation is required to assess if health professional referrals impact registrations to the program, attendance rates and long-term behaviour change.