Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

ISSN 2055-2386
Original Research

The feasibility and acceptability of a home based exercise intervention for colorectal cancer survivors: ‘EXACT’ – EXercise And Colorectal Cancer Trial’

Jackie H Gracey1†, Lauri McDermott2†, Marie Murphy3†, Jane Rankin4† and Andrea M McNeilly3*

*Correspondence: Andrea M McNeilly

1. Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies, Institute of Nursing and Health Research, Ulster University, Newtownabbey, Co.Antrim, BT37 OQB, Northern Ireland.

Author Affiliations

2. School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Ballymun Road, Dublin, Ireland.

3. Sport and Exercise Science Research Institute, Ulster University, Newtownabbey, Co.Antrim, BT37 OQB, Northern Ireland.

4. Department of Physiotherapy, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, BT9 7JL.


Background: Improving lifestyle factors, including increased physical activity and exercise is associated with improved outcomes in colorectal cancer care and treatment. The purpose of this research was to assess efficacy and feasibility of a home based exercise intervention in colorectal cancer survivors (CRCS).

Methods: CRCS were recruited to a 12-week multimodal exercise intervention with individualised goal setting. Physiological, psychological and biological outcomes were assessed at baseline, post-intervention (week 12) and follow up (week 24). The feasibility and acceptability of the intervention was measured by recruitment, adherence and retention rates as well as participant satisfaction questionnaires.

Results: Twenty-three stage I-IIIb CRC survivors volunteered for the research (65.7% recruitment rate). The majority were male (69.6%) with stage IIa CRC (47.82%) and 24-months post treatment.91.6% ofparticipants completed the intervention, of which 70% completed 219±108 minutes per week moderateto- vigorous intensity exercise. Results showed favourable changes to anthropometric measures with clinical improvements in cardiovascular fitness and lower body strength. These changes were in the absence of changes to blood biomarkers.

Conclusion: This 12-week multimodal intervention was feasible and acceptable to CRCS and produced favourable changes to cardiovascular fitness and increases in moderate intensity PA. These findings should help inform supportive care and clinical practice in CRCS.

Keywords: Biomarkers, survivorship, physical activity, lifestyle, energy balance

ISSN 2055-2386
Volume 8
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