Translating Research Into Practice: The Healthy Living after Cancer Partnership Project (#49)
Aims: There is considerable evidence for the role of physical activity, healthy diet and weight control in improving outcomes for cancer survivors, and evidence for related lifestyle interventions. However, these are not incorporated as part of routine care. The Healthy Living after Cancer (HLaC) NHMRC-funded Partnership Project is evaluating the uptake of an evidence-based, six-month telephone-delivered lifestyle program targeting cancer survivors (of any type following treatment with curative intent) by four Cancer Councils (NSW, VIC, SA, WA) in collaboration with an interdisciplinary research team.
Methods: Phase IV dissemination study; single-group, pre-post design; conducted in three phases over five years: 1) infrastructure and capacity building; 2) implementation and evaluation; 3) advocacy for continued funding, pending findings. Primary outcomes relate to program implementation: adoption (i.e., referrals from treatment centres and community services); reach and retention of participants; fidelity of implementation by Cancer Councils; participant and staff satisfaction; fixed and recurrent costs of program delivery. Secondary (patient-reported) outcomes are: physical activity and dietary behaviour change, weight, quality of life, cancer-related side-effects, distress and fear of recurrence.
Results: Phase I activities (protocol adaptation for Cancer Council delivery; database development; staff training; referral pathway and promotional material development) are complete. All Cancer Councils have begun to pilot HLaC program delivery (Phase II) which will continue for three years. To date, a total of 29 patients have enrolled: 79% female; aged 30 to 82; average BMI = 28 kg/m2 (SD = 8.5); with a wide range of cancers (breast, prostate, colorectal, lymphoma, kidney, cervical, Ewing’s sarcoma, acute lymphoid leukaemia and basal cell carcinoma).
Conclusions: This University-Cancer Council collaboration provides an opportunity for national dissemination of an evidence-based intervention to support healthy living among cancer survivors. Rigorous evaluation of service-level and patient-reported outcomes will provide the practice-based evidence needed to inform subsequent applications for sustained funding.