Activating cancer communities through an exercise strategy for survivors
Lead Researcher(s): Melanie Keats
Lead Institution: Dalhousie University
Co-Investigators: Scott Grandy, Chris Blanchard, Nicole Culos-Reid, Nick Giacomantonio, Miroslaw Radja
ARCC Program Area(s):
Funding Term: 2018-2019
The objectives of this one-year study were to: 1) examine feasibility of implementing exercise into the lives of cancer survivors (e.g., physician and self referral to hospital and/or community-based cancer exercise program, recruitment/accrual, participant retention and program adherence, safety); and 2) explore and compare preliminary benefits of exercise program participation in hospital and community-based centres (i.e., participant satisfaction, fitness, quality of life).
There has been a lot of provincial support for this project ensuring it will continue beyond the one-year ARCC-funded period. To date, 70 patients/survivors have completed the 12-week program, 50 are actively participating, 24 are pending baseline assessment, 38 have withdrawn, and several more are pending consent and study enrollment. The most common reasons for early withdraw were lack of time/scheduling conflicts and declining health. Forty patients/survivors declined participating in the 12-week exercise program. Of these, 19 completed a brief interview to discuss barriers to participation.
In addition to the hospital-based site, the project team has partnered with two community sites (Canada Games Center, Halifax and Rathe Eastlink Community Center, Truro) in an effort to make the program more widely available. The project team is hoping to add 2-3 additional community-based sites later in 2020.
Dr Keats has successfully obtained funding to further this work.
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