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Open Access Study protocol

Efficacy of a referral and physical activity program for survivors of prostate cancer [ENGAGE]: Rationale and design for a cluster randomised controlled trial

Patricia M Livingston1*, Jo Salmon1, Kerry S Courneya2, Cadeyrn J Gaskin1, Melinda Craike1, Mari Botti1, Suzanne Broadbent3 and Bridie Kent1

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Health, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia

2 Behavioural Medicine Laboratory, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, E-488 Van Vliet Center, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H9, Canada

3 School of Sport & Exercise Science, Victoria University, PO Box 14428, Melbourne, Victoria 8001, Australia

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:237  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-237

Published: 13 June 2011

Abstract

Background

Despite evidence that physical activity improves the health and well-being of prostate cancer survivors, many men do not engage in sufficient levels of activity. The primary aim of this study (ENGAGE) is to determine the efficacy of a referral and physical activity program among survivors of prostate cancer, in terms of increasing participation in physical activity. Secondary aims are to determine the effects of the physical activity program on psychological well-being, quality of life and objective physical functioning. The influence of individual and environmental mediators on participation in physical activity will also be determined.

Methods/Design

This study is a cluster randomised controlled trial. Clinicians of prostate cancer survivors will be randomised into either the intervention or control condition. Clinicians in the intervention condition will refer eligible patients (n = 110) to participate in an exercise program, comprising 12 weeks of supervised exercise sessions and unsupervised physical activity. Clinicians allocated to the control condition will provide usual care to eligible patients (n = 110), which does not involve the recommendation of the physical activity program. Participants will be assessed at baseline, 12 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months on physical activity, quality of life, anxiety, depression, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, goals, and socio-structural factors.

Discussion

The findings of this study have implications for clinicians and patients with different cancer types or other chronic health conditions. It will contribute to our understanding on the potential impact of clinicians promoting physical activity to patients and the long term health benefits of participating in physical activity programs.

Trial registration

Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR): ACTRN12610000609055

Deakin University Human Research Ethics Approval 2011-085