Pragmatic Lifestyle Intervention in Patients Recovering From Colon Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

L Bourke, DJ Gibson, Amanda Daley, H Crank, I Adam, A Shorthouse, J Saxton, Georgia Thompson

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    70 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To investigate the feasibility of a pragmatic lifestyle intervention in patients who had recently completed surgery and chemotherapy for colon cancer and to obtain preliminary data of its impact on important health outcomes. Design: A prospective, randomized, controlled pilot trial. Setting: University rehabilitation facility. Participants: Eighteen (N=18) colon cancer survivors (mean age=69y; range, 52-80y), Dukes stage A to C. Interventions: Participants were randomized 6 to 24 months postoperatively to either a 12-week program of combined exercise and dietary advice or standard treatment. Main Outcome Measures: Exercise and dietary behavior, fatigue, health-related quality of life (QOL), aerobic exercise tolerance, functional capacity, muscle strength, and anthropometery were assessed at baseline and immediately after the intervention. Results: Adherences to supervised and independent exercise during the intervention were 90% and 94%, respectively, and there was low attrition (6%). The lifestyle intervention elicited improvements in exercise behavior (P=.068), fatigue (P=.005), aerobic exercise tolerance (P=.010), chair sit-to-stand performance (P=.003), and waist-to-hip ratio (P=.002). A positive change in dietary fiber intake (P=.044) was also observed in the intervention group. No change in QOL was observed (P=.795). Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that a pragmatic lifestyle intervention implemented 6 to 24 months after primary treatment for colon cancer was feasible. We observed a significant impact on dietary behavior, fatigue, aerobic exercise tolerance, functional capacity, and waist-to-hip ratio. These findings need to be confirmed with a larger-scale definitive randomized controlled trial.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)749-755
    Number of pages7
    JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


    • Fatigue
    • Rehabilitation
    • Exercise
    • Diet
    • Colonic neoplasms


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