Physical function in patients

Physical function in patients with cancer-related weight loss: a study of strength and balance over time and of what motivates us to exercise.

 

Regular exercise is important in maintaining our physical strength and independence. In earlier stages of cancer it can improve daily functioning and quality of life. However it is in the advanced stages of cancer that the ability to perform activities of daily living, and remain independent is most threatened. Before recommending exercise in more advanced illness, it is necessary to have a better understanding of the degree to which cancer-associated weight loss affects physical functioning. One way to do this is to measure changes in muscle strength and balance over time. In order to design effective interventions to address loss of function, it is equally important to understand what would motivate us to exercise in this situation and preferences for the type of exercise.  We can then design activities which are relevant and likely to be undertaken in the real world of patients' lives.

This study will measure strength in core muscle groups in 50 patients 3 times over an 8 week period. It will also investigate motivations and preferences for physical activity and exercise in 200 patients using a questionnaire. All patients will have a diagnosis of lung or gastrointestinal cancer. The results of the study will inform future research where the benefits of exercise can be assessed in a large study before becoming part of our clinical care.

 

Investigators:

Dr Anthony Byrne, Scientific Lead for Palliative Care Research, Wales Cancer Trials Unit, Cardiff University

Dr Robert van Deursen, Director of Research, Dept of Physiotherapy, School of Healthcare Studies, Cardiff University

Dr Karianne Backx, Discipline Director Physiology and Health, Cardiff School of Sport, University of Wales Institute Cardiff

Dr Annmarie Nelson, Marie Curie Senior Research Fellow, Wales Cancer Trials Unit, Cardiff University

Dr David Wasley, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff School of Sport, University of Wales Institute Cardiff

Dr Nichola Gale, Research Assistant, Dept of Physiotherapy, School of Healthcare Studies, Cardiff University

Dr Stephanie Enright, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Physiotherapy, School of Healthcare Studies, Cardiff University

Mr Gareth Griffiths, Scientific Director, Wales Cancer Trials Unit, Cardiff University

 

Collaborators:

Dr Richard Adams, Consultant Clinical Oncologist

Dr Jason Lester, Consultant Clinical Oncologist

Dr Dianne Parry, Consultant Chest Physician

The study is a result of collaboration between the School of Health Sciences, The Marie Curie Research Centre and Wales Cancer Trials Unit at Cardiff University and the Cardiff School of Sport, UWIC. This interdisciplinary research group emerged from the All Wales Rehabilitation Research Network (Wales School of Primary Care Research), and is allied to the Palliative Care Research Group of NISCHR Cancer Registered Research Group and directly links with the UK wide NCRI Palliative Care CSG.

www.wctu.org.uk