Exercise referral to fitness centre or cardiac rehabilitation among breast cancer survivors: Pilot single-arm trial with embedded process evaluation
This study aims to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of providing BCS with a choice of attending one of the following existing structured PA interventions - NHS cardiac rehabilitation and fitness/leisure centres for the general public.
North of Scotland Ethics Committee (1), 08/05/2015, ref: 15/NS/0036
Single-arm pilot feasibility trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Non randomised study
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet.
Participants will be offered a choice of the two interventions:
Phase III cardiac rehabilitation is usually a 10 to 12 week exercise programme delivered to patients within a traditional cardiac rehabilitation setting . In the particular site where this study is being conducted, this will be a 10 week course, with a 60 minute exercise class once a week. The programme will be delivered by a cardiac physiotherapist, and is supported by a cardiac nurse co-ordinator, and a physiotherapy assistant. Exercise will be tailored to the individual during an initial assessment with the physiotherapist. Participants will be given individual activity goals, and appropriate intensities for activities. Exercise will take place in a group setting, and will include both cancer and cardiac patients. Lower intensity classes will be available, if required. Educational components will form part of the programme, and include general health advice (e.g. diet, exercise, relaxation), alongside cardiac specific sessions (e.g. medications). Attendance will be recorded.
Participants will be referred to an instructor who is qualified to Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) Level 4, in Cancer and Exercise. Exercise will take place in a gym setting, or in a class setting (if appropriate), alongside members of the general public. An individual exercise programme will be set up between the participant and the specialist instructor during a one-to-one appointment. For the purpose of the study, participants will be provided with a 3-month free membership card, giving them free access to a range of fitness classes, gym and swimming pool. Advice will be offered on an individual basis on the safety of use for each participant. Participants will be able to visit the facility as often as they wish during the 3 month period. Attendance will be recorded.
Follow up: Participants will complete repeated measures on completion of the intervention of their choice. This will involve completion of the questionnaire (as done at baseline), and a semi-structured interview.
Primary outcome measure
Physical Activity and sedentary behaviour is measured using an accelerometer, the Godin-Shephard Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire (GSLTPAQ), a physical activity self-efficacy self-report questionnaire and analysing an activity diary at baseline and the end of the intervention.
Secondary outcome measures
1. Quality of life is measured using the EQ-5D questionnaire and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy for Breast cancer (FACT-B) questionnaire at baseline and the end of the intervention
2. Fatigue is measured using an additional questions in the FACT-B questionnaire at baseline and the end of the intervention
3. Functional strength is measured using the five repetition sit to stand test at baseline and the end of the intervention
4. Confounding/mediating factors are determined using patient records at baseline and the end of the intervention
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Are aged 16 years of age or over
2. Diagnosed with breast cancer (any stage) or Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ (DCIS) having surgery, axillary surgery, or undergoing risk-reducing mastectomy
2. Post-surgery and may (or may not) be having adjuvant therapy (chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy) and may have had neoadjuvant therapy before surgery
No longer appliable as of 25/07/2016:
3. Live within a 35-mile radius of cardiac rehabilitation/fitness centre
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
1. A clinician (e.g. consultant or clinical nurse specialist) decides that they are unsuitable for inclusion
2. A clinician decides that the BCS has a cognitive impairment and thereby cannot give informed consent
3. Scheduled to have further surgery in the next 12 weeks
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
NHS Highland Old Perth Rd
Breast Cancer Now
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Plan to publish the study protocol in a peer reviewed journal. Findings will also be shared with the Breast Cancer charity who fund the study (Breast Cancer Now), and the wider breast cancer community. Study findings will also be submitted for review and publication in a suitable peer reviewed journal and possibly at Local and National conferences.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Basic results (scientific)
2018 results in: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29881639