Collaborative Team: Dr E Gane, E Pinkham, Prof E Ward, Prof R Chan, A/Prof M Pinkham, J Foo, Dr N Hart.
The established benefits of exercise to help manage the side effects of cancer treatments will be brought into the homes of cancer patients across Queensland through a new implementation study.
Exercise classes which help to manage side effects of cancer treatments such as fatigue, nausea muscle weakness and depression, are already being offered to cancer patients by physiotherapists at the PA Hospital, but now those same classes will be delivered to patients in their homes through the internet.
The PA Research Foundation funded research project will study patients in a 12-week personalised exercise program through the telehealth Virtual Clinic platform.
The exercise classes are personalised and include resistance and aerobic training, with patients able to see and hear their physiotherapists through the telehealth platform and as well as reducing the cost burden on patients in terms of travel and parking, the classes will be able to be undertaken at times that are more convenient for patients.
Dr Elise Gane takes a patient at the PA through her exercise classes.
With telehealth now widely used to overcome similar barriers in other outpatient services, the aim of the project is to better understand how this telehealth service can be implemented, the processes involved and to gain feedback from involved participants and clinicians. The research team are hopeful their findings will guide the development of cancer exercise services at PA Hospital in the future.
Though evidence shows that people with cancer can benefit from supervised exercise during and after treatment, most people still do not achieve the recommended activity goals the research team believe making dedicated cancer exercise classes available to people in their own homes via telehealth is a strategy that might improve access and improve patient outcomes.
The program will be offered to people with cancer who are undergoing or have completed treatment, using basic exercise equipment and guidance by an experienced physiotherapist all thanks to PA Research Foundation funding.
In exciting news, the outcomes of this research will be presented at the 2023 World Physiotherapy Congress in Dubai. Dr Gane is one of four international speakers delivering a focused symposium entitled ‘Physiotherapy research in cancer care: Moving form research to practice’. More information can be found on the congress website: https://wp2023.world.physio/#/home