The Exercise for health study was a randomised controlled trial addressing how exercise interventions can be delivered in ‘real-world’ contexts, with the greatest possible population reach, and in a manner that assists women to become appropriately active during breast cancer treatment and into longer-term survivorship.
The 8-month, moderate-intensity exercise intervention (aerobic- and resistance-based) was delivered by Exercise Physiologists, either face-to-face or over the telephone, commencing for participants 4 to 6 weeks after their breast cancer surgery. Two modes of delivery are being tested to evaluate the most effective (and cost-effective) mode of delivery, in comparison to usual care, an issue with important implications for translating evidence into practice.
The study has two arms, URBAN and RURAL. The URBAN arm involves women who reside in the greater Brisbane area and who are randomised into one of the two exercise intervention groups or a control ‘usual care’ group, while the RURAL arm includes women from regional/rural areas of Queensland who are randomised into the telephone intervention group or usual care. All participants were assessed prior to the start of the intervention, mid-way through the intervention (6 months post-surgery) and 3 months following completion of the intervention (12 months post-surgery). Primary outcomes are feasibility of delivery, quality of life, upper-body function and level of physical activity.