A study looking at physical activity and rehabilitation for people who have had treatment for cancer

Cancer type:

All cancer types





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.

Study design
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 (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) or published in a medical journal yet. The figures we quote above were provided by the research team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Mr Russel Tipson

Supported by

Macmillan Cancer Support
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
University of Wolverhampton

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Last reviewed:

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