A qualitative evaluation of a multi-modal cancer prehabilitation programme for colorectal, head and neck and lung cancers patients

Sharon Linsey Bingham, Sarah Small, Cherith Jane Semple

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Growing evidence indicates patients’ survivorship outcomes can be enhanced through active engagement in a multi-modal cancer prehabilitation programme (MCPP), although this intervention is not uniformly embedded as a standard of care. MCPP aims to optimise patients physiologically and psychologically for cancer treatments, shorten recovery time, reduce complications, promote healthier lifestyles and improve quality of life. South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SET) developed and evaluated a system-wide collaborative approach to MMCP across three tumour groups (colorectal, lung, head and neck cancer). Addressing the lack of qualitative evaluation of MCPPs, this novel paper explores mechanisms promoting feasibility and acceptability of MCPP from patients’ and interdisciplinary professionals’ perspectives.
Methods: Semi-structured virtual one-to-one interviews were conducted with 24 interdisciplinary professionals and nine patients. Transcripts were recorded, transcribed verbatim and themes developed using Framework Analysis. Results: Analysis of findings identified three themes providing an in-depth understanding of key elements required to develop and promote system-wide delivery of a MCPP: 1) Equipping the team: Capability and capacity, 2) Timing of intervention and delivery timeframe and 3) Systems and processes.
Conclusion: The system-wide collaborative approach to developing a MCPP was deemed both feasible and acceptable. Success was attributed to visionary leadership, alongside a diverse group of interdisciplinary professionals being engaged, motivated and committed to intervention delivery in an effort to improve patient outcomes. Iterative, responsive troubleshooting during initial delivery is required to facilitate successful implementation. Further training is required for greater adherence to provision of prescriptive high intensity exercise within the programme, which may further promote enhanced patient outcomes. To enable sustainability of MCPP, ongoing training for professionals and funding is required.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0277589
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Early online date3 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 3 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright: © 2023 Bingham et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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