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JMIR Res Protoc ; 11(7): e38553, 2022 Jul 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1974533


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. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12621001417875; INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): PRR1-10.2196/38553.

Australas J Ageing ; 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741320


OBJECTIVE: To explore older persons' perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on participating in community activities after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. METHODS: Mixed-methods study design. Participants were older adults who were discharged home following inpatient rehabilitation. Interviews were conducted with 70 participants, with a variety of diagnoses, 8 weeks after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. Frequency of participation in domestic, leisure/work and outdoor activities was measured using the Frenchay Activities Index (FAI). Qualitative analysis was completed using qualitative content analysis and triangulated with FAI scores. RESULTS: In all, 70 older adults (mean age: 73.0 years, SD: 9.9; 59% female) participated in the study. The overarching theme was that participants felt socially isolated following discharge from rehabilitation, with COVID-19 restrictions increasing perceptions of social isolation and complicating their return to participating in community activities. The four categories informing the overarching theme were as follows: physical health was the primary limitation to participation in community activities; COVID-19 restrictions limited participation in social activities and centre-based physical rehabilitation; low uptake of videoconferencing to facilitate socialisation and rehabilitation; and reduced incidental physical activity. Mean FAI score was 21.2 (SD 7.8), indicating that participants were moderately active. Participants most commonly performed domestic activities (mean: 10.0, SD: 4.1), followed by outdoor activities (mean: 6.6, SD: 3.5) and leisure/work activities (mean: 4.5, SD: 2.5). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 restrictions exacerbated perceptions of social isolation and the limitations already imposed by poor physical health after discharge from rehabilitation. The findings highlight the need for rehabilitation that addresses the psychological and social dimensions of community reintegration.

JMIR Cancer ; 7(4): e33130, 2021 Dec 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604535


BACKGROUND: Access to exercise for cancer survivors is poor despite global recognition of its benefits. Telerehabilitation may overcome barriers to exercise for cancer survivors but is not routinely offered. OBJECTIVE: Following the rapid implementation of an exercise-based telerehabilitation program in response to COVID-19, a process evaluation was conducted to understand the impact on patients, staff, and the health service with the aim of informing future program development. METHODS: A mixed methods evaluation was completed for a telerehabilitation program for cancer survivors admitted between March and December 2020. Interviews were conducted with patients and staff involved in implementation. Routinely collected hospital data (adverse events, referrals, admissions, wait time, attendance, physical activity, and quality of life) were also assessed. Patients received an 8-week telerehabilitation intervention including one-on-one health coaching via telehealth, online group exercise and education, information portal, and home exercise prescription. Quantitative data were reported descriptively, and qualitative interview data were coded and mapped to the Proctor model for implementation research. RESULTS: The telerehabilitation program received 175 new referrals over 8 months. Of those eligible, 123 of 150 (82%) commenced the study. There were no major adverse events. Adherence to health coaching was high (674/843, 80% of scheduled sessions), but participation in online group exercise classes was low (n=36, 29%). Patients improved their self-reported physical activity levels by a median of 110 minutes per week (IQR 90-401) by program completion. Patients were satisfied with telerehabilitation, but clinicians reported a mixed experience of pride in rapid care delivery contrasting with loss of personal connections. The average health service cost per patient was Aus $1104 (US $790). CONCLUSIONS: Telerehabilitation is safe, feasible, and improved outcomes for cancer survivors. Learnings from this study may inform the ongoing implementation of cancer telerehabilitation.

BMJ Open ; 10(7):e037153-e037153, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-662339


INTRODUCTION: There is a need to develop relevant, acceptable initiatives that facilitate physical activity participation in young people with disability. FitSkills was developed to support young people with disability to exercise. The primary aims are to investigate if FitSkills can be scaled up from a small, university-led programme to run as a larger community-university partnership programme, and to determine its effectiveness in improving physical activity participation and health-related quality of life for young people with disability. The secondary aims are to evaluate cost-effectiveness, changes in attitudes towards disability and other health-related outcomes for young people with disability. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A stepped wedge cluster randomised trial using a cohort design and embedded health economic evaluation will compare the effect of FitSkills with a control phase. FitSkills matches a young person with disability with a student mentor and the pair exercise together at their local gymnasium for 1 hour, two times per week for 12 weeks (24 sessions in total). One hundred and sixty young people with disability aged 13 to 30 years will be recruited. Eight community gymnasia will be recruited and randomised into four cluster units to have FitSkills introduced at 3-month intervals. Primary (feasibility, participation and health-related quality of life) and secondary outcomes will be collected longitudinally every 3 months from trial commencement, with eight data collection time points in total. The Practical Robust Implementation and Sustainability Model will be used to support knowledge translation and implementation of project findings into policy and practice. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was obtained from the La Trobe University Human Ethics Committee (HEC17-012), Australian Catholic University (2017-63R), Deakin University (2017-206) and the Victorian Department of Education and Training (2018_003616). Results will be disseminated through published manuscripts, conference presentations, public seminars and practical resources for stakeholder groups. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12617000766314. TRIAL SPONSOR: La Trobe University.