Poster Presentation Joint 2016 COSA and ANZBCTG Annual Scientific Meeting

Commencement of a supervised exercise program for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer and impact on current physiotherapy service provision. (#344)

Tara Redemski 1
  1. Gold Coast University Hospital, Southport, QLD, Australia

International guidelines recommend 30 minutes of daily exercise, and twice weekly resistance training for people with cancer (1). However, total physical activity levels in women with breast cancer are significantly reduced throughout the first year post-operatively (2), and only 15% of women will meet recommended exercise guidelines at the time of completion of adjuvant therapy (3). With the opening of Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) in 2013, and growth of allied health cancer services in 2014, a cancer exercise group was developed at GCUH to provide weekly, supervised exercise for women with breast cancer undergoing, or having recently completed treatment. Participants are identified to the group through the outpatient physiotherapy service which sees all women with breast cancer post-operatively, or via consultant referral. An individual initial exercise assessment is completed with the physiotherapist prior to group attendance to review patient history, precautions and patient goals, and develop an individualised exercise program. Sessions run for one hour per week in the gym at GCUH, and consist of a warm-up, circuit of individualised cardiovascular, resistance and flexibility exercises and cool-down, completed under supervision of the physiotherapist and physiotherapy assistant. Participants attend the group weekly for 8-12 sessions and complete independent exercise between sessions. At the time of discharge, post-group measures are completed and advice to maintain physical activity is provided. Standardised resources were developed to support the group, but allow for variability between participants. The group commenced in November 2015, and expanded to a second group in March 2016. While individual physiotherapy demand continued to grow on average 4.4% per month, since the introduction of the second group in March attendance has continued to increase by 30% per month, and an average of 4 people attend each session. Further analysis is planned with quantitative efficacy and feasibility studies to follow.

  1. Schmitz, KH, Courneya, KS, Matthews, C, et al. (2010). American College of Sports Medicine Roundtable on Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors. Med Sci Sports Exercise; 42(7):1409-26
  2. DeVoogdt, N, Van Kampen, M, Geraerts, I, et al. (2010). Physical activity levels after treatment for breast cancer: one-year follow-up. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment; 123:417-425
  3. Andrykowski, MA, Beaecham, AO & Jacobsen, PB. (2007). Prospective, Longitudinal Study of Leisure-Time Exercise in Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; 16:430-438