Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study looking at physical activity and rehabilitation for people who have had treatment for cancer
This study looked whether a physical activity rehabilitation programme would be helpful for people who have finished cancer treatment.
It was open for people to join between 2014 and 2017, and the team reported the results in 2018.
More about this trial
When this study was done, we already knew from research that regular exercise can help improve people’s quality of life. But exercise after treatment wasn’t being routinely encouraged.
In this study, the research team used a programme that was already being used to help people who were recovering from a heart condition. This is called a cardiac rehabilitation programme. They wanted to see if the same programme could help people who’d had treatment for cancer.
This study was for people who had finished treatment between 6 and 18 months earlier.
The main aims of this study were to find out if:
- it’s possible to encourage people to do regular exercise after treatment
- doing more exercise improves health, wellbeing and quality of life
Summary of results
The research team found that following an existing cardiac rehabilitation plan may benefit people who have had treatment for cancer.
This study was for people who had already finished their treatment. A total of 30 people joined the trial. And 23 people completed all the questionnaires before and after the programme.
To begin with they had a face-to-face session with a health care professional. They talked about things such as ways to increase exercise.
The people taking part completed several surveys and questionnaires before they started the programme, and again 12 weeks later. They were asked about things such as their:
- quality of life
- mental health
- self esteem
- exercise habits
The results showed that the cardiac rehabilitation programme did help people do more exercise. And that this had other benefits.
The research team found that there was a:
- small improvement in people’s physical ability
- moderate improvement in people’s quality of life
- large improvement in people’s mental health and self esteem
- a large increase in the amount of exercise people did
- a small decrease in people’s body mass index (BMI)
The research team concluded that following an existing cardiac rehabilitation programme improved people’s mental health and quality of life. And that people who have finished treatment for cancer may benefit from following this programme.
Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on information from the research team. As far as we are aware, the information they sent us has not been reviewed independently (
How to join a clinical trial
Mr Russel Tipson
Macmillan Cancer Support
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
University of Wolverhampton