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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Implementation and scientific evaluation of rehabilitative sports groups for prostate cancer patients: study protocol of the ProRehab Study

Eva M Zopf1*, Moritz Braun2, Stefan Machtens3, Jürgen Zumbé4, Wilhelm Bloch1 and Freerk T Baumann1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Cardiovascular Research and Sport Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Sport Medicine, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Müngersdorf 6, Cologne, 50933, Germany

2 Heilig-Geist-Hospital Cologne-Longerich, Graseggerstr. 105, Cologne-Longerich, 50737, Germany

3 Marien Hospital Bergisch Gladbach, Dr.-Robert-Koch-Str. 18, Bergisch Gladbach, 51465, Germany

4 Clinical Centre Leverkusen, Am Gesundheitspark 11, Leverkusen, 51375, Germany

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BMC Cancer 2012, 12:312  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-312

Published: 24 July 2012

Abstract

Background

Although treatment regimen have improved in the last few years, prostate cancer patients following a radical prostatectomy still experience severe disease- and treatment-related side effects, including urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and psychological issues. Despite high incidence rates and the common adverse effects there is a lack of supportive measures for male patients and specific physical exercise recommendations for prostate cancer patients during rehabilitation or in the aftercare are still missing.

Methods/Design

The ProRehab Project aims to establish rehabilitative sports groups particularly for prostate cancer patients and to evaluate the effects of the offered exercise program. Starting 8–12 weeks after prostatectomy or combination therapy, prostate cancer patients will exercise for 15 months within a patient preference randomized controlled trial. One exercise session will be conducted within a pre-established rehabilitative sports group, while the other will be completed independently. Patients in the control group will not participate in the intervention. The main outcomes of the study include aerobic fitness, quality of life, incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Discussion

By combining science, practice, and public relations the first rehabilitative sports groups for prostate cancer patients in Germany have been set up and thus contribute to the care structure for prostate cancer patients. By offering a 15-month physical exercise intervention that is conducted in supervised group sessions, long-term lifestyle changes and therefore improvements in quality of life in prostate cancer patients can be expected.

Trial registration

German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00004184

Keywords:
Prostate cancer; Rehabilitative sports groups; Physical activity; Exercise