A Feasibility Study of a Virtual Rehabilitation and Physical Activity Program for People With Advanced Cancer

Official Title

Advanced Cancer Support In Virtual Rehabilitation and Exercise in North Zone (ACTIVE-North): a Feasibility Study


Background: People with advanced cancer experience fatigue and loss of functioning, which often worsens as their cancer progresses. Rehabilitation programs may help to reduce fatigue and improve overall physical function. People with advanced cancer who live in rural and remote areas lack access to cancer-specific rehabilitation and exercise expertise to manage complex symptoms of high intensity. Their access to in-person services at tertiary sites are further reduced due to public health requirements for physical distancing during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic. Aim: To test the feasibility of a virtual program delivered by a team of cancer-specific rehabilitation, exercise and pain and symptom experts for remote and rural patients with advanced cancer to address their symptoms, functioning and quality of life. Design: The virtual program will be tailored to the individual person, and consist of online exercise modules, online supervised interactive group class and one-to-one virtual meetings with an exercise or rehabilitation specialist and a palliative care physician. Relevance: This study will determine whether a virtual multidisciplinary rehabilitation and exercise program is feasible for people with advanced cancer. Further, it will provide insight on how fatigue and loss of functioning can best be managed for this population in remote and rural locations.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Completion rate
Secondary Outcome:
  • Retention rate
  • Adherence rate
  • Patient safety
Aim: To determine the feasibility of a virtual rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise intervention which is designed and delivered virtually by an interdisciplinary team for advanced cancer patients in Alberta Health Services North Zone. Objectives: 1) To examine the primary feasibility outcome of completion rate, with a target of 50% of participants who complete the virtual rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise intervention out of all participants who agreed to participate in the study; 2) To explore secondary feasibility outcomes of retention rate, adherence rate and patient safety of participants in the virtual rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise intervention; 3) To provide preliminary data on the effect of a virtual rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise intervention on the symptom burden, physical function, and overall quality of life of advanced cancer patients, and 4) To explore participants' experience, barriers, and facilitators after participating in the virtual rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise intervention. Methods: A pilot study using single group pre- to post-test with mixed methods data collection will allow us to determine the feasibility of a virtual rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise intervention (proof of concept) to be used in the full-scale study.

View this trial on ClinicalTrials.gov

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Canadian Cancer Society

These resources are provided in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society