Background: Multiple international organizations have called for exercise to become standard practice in the setting of oncology care. The feasibility of integrating exercise within systemic chemotherapy has not been investigated. Methods: Patients slated to receive infusion therapy between April 2017 and October 2018 were screened for possible inclusion. The study goal was to establish the acceptability and feasibility of embedding an exercise professional into the chemotherapy infusion suite as a method of making exercise a standard part of cancer care. The exercise prescriptions provided to patients were individualized according to results of brief baseline functional testing. Results: In all, 544 patients were screened, and their respective treating oncologists deemed 83% of them to be medically eligible to participate. After further eligibility screening, 226 patients were approached. Nearly 71% of these patients (n = 160) accepted the invitation to participate in the Exercise in All Chemotherapy trial. Feasibility was established because 71%, 55%, 69%, and 63% of the aerobic, resistance, balance, and flexibility exercises prescribed to patients were completed. Qualitative data also supported the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention from the perspective of patients and clinicians. The per-patient cost of the intervention was $190.68 to $382.40. Conclusions: Embedding an exercise professional into the chemotherapy infusion suite is an acceptable and feasible approach to making exercise standard practice. Moreover, the cost of the intervention is lower than the cost of other common community programs. Future studies should test whether colocating an exercise professional with infusion therapy could reach more patients in comparison with not colocating. Lay Summary: Few studies have tested the implementation of exercise for patients with cancer by embedding an exercise professional directly into the chemotherapy infusion suite. The Exercise in All Chemotherapy trial shows that this approach is both acceptable and feasible from the perspective of clinicians and patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research