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Efficacy of Group Exercise-Based Cancer Rehabilitation Delivered via Telehealth (TeleCaRe): Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

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Background: Access to rehabilitation to support cancer survivors to exercise is poor. Group exercise-based rehabilitation may be delivered remotely, but no trials have currently evaluated their efficacy. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a group exercise-based cancer rehabilitation program delivered via telehealth compared to usual care for improving the quality of life of cancer survivors. Methods: A parallel, assessor-blinded, pragmatic randomized controlled trial with embedded cost and qualitative analysis will be completed. In total, 116 cancer survivors will be recruited from a metropolitan health network in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The experimental group will attend an 8-week, twice-weekly, 60-minute exercise group session supervised via videoconferencing supplemented by a web-based home exercise program and information portal. The comparison group will receive usual care including standardized exercise advice and written information. Assessments will be completed at weeks 0 (baseline), 9 (post intervention), and 26 (follow-up). The primary outcome will be health-related quality of life measured using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire at week 9. Secondary measures include walking capacity (6-minute walk test), physical activity (activPAL accelerometer), self-efficacy (Health Action Process Approach Questionnaire), and adverse events. Health service data including hospital length of stay, hospital readmissions, and emergency department presentations will be recorded. Semistructured interviews will be completed within an interpretive description framework to explore the patient experience. The primary outcome will be analyzed using linear mixed effects models. A cost-effectiveness analysis will also be performed. Results: The trial commenced in April 2022. As of June 2022, we enrolled 14 participants. Conclusions: This trial will inform the future implementation of cancer rehabilitation by providing important data about efficacy, safety, cost, and patient experience.

Funding

AMD is funded by a Victorian Cancer Agency Fellowship.

History

Publication Date

2022-07-18

Journal

JMIR Research Protocols

Volume

11

Issue

7

Article Number

e38553

Pagination

12p.

Publisher

JMIR Publications Inc.

ISSN

1929-0748

Rights Statement

© Amy M Dennett, Katherine E Harding, Casey L Peiris, Nora Shields, Christian Barton, Lauren Lynch, Phillip Parente, David Lim, Nicholas F Taylor. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org), 18.07.2022. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

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