Planning, development & evaluation of an innovative cancer prehabilitation service for 3 tumour groups

Cherith Semple, Sharon Bingham, Sarah Small

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


Growing evidence indicates patients’ outcomes can be enhanced by cancer prehabilitation (CP) 1; although not uniformly embedded as a standard of care. CP aims to optimise patients physiological and psychological for cancer treatments,1 shorten recovery time, reduce complications, promote healthier lifestyles and improve quality of life.2 South-Eastern Health and Social Care Trust piloted and evaluated an adaptation of multimodal CP programme3 across three tumour groups, which included exercise, nutrition and emotional support, and encouraged behavioural alcohol and smoking change.

Following screening, patients were referred to appropriate CP pathways (T0). Baseline functional and patient-reported outcome measures were collected pre-CP (T1), end of CP (before definitive treatment) and 3 months later (T3). Data was analysed using SPSS v28.0. Qualitative evaluation comprised of semi-structured interviews with 24 professional stakeholders and eight patients; using Framework Analysis.

Available screening data for 135 patients (x ̅= 68 years) across 3 tumours groups colorectal (n=90), head and neck (n=30) and lung (n=15) was analysed, with the majority referred to universal pathways for exercise (73%), nutritional (71%) and emotional wellbeing (86%). All had a Rockwood Clinical Frailty Scale of 0.5) in QOL but improvement in exercise self-efficacy. Qualitative findings highlighted: 1) identifying key stakeholders at inception, promoting successful engagement; 2) shared vision essential to develop and tailor CP; 3) necessity to equip team to deliver CP, 4) and lessons learned to move forward.

Stakeholders and patients realised many benefits to CP, but short timeframe (

1. MacMillan Cancer Support, Royal College of Anaesthetists, and the National Institute for Health Research. (2019) Prehabilitation for people with cancer: principles and guidance for prehabilitation within the management and support of people
with cancer.

2. Carli F, Gillis C and Scheede-Bergdahl C. (2017) Promoting a culture of prehabilitation for the surgical cancer patient. Acta Oncol, 56:2, 128-133.

3. Moore, J., Merchant, Z., Rowlinson, K., McEwan, K., Evison, M., Faulkner, G., Sultan, J., McPhee, J.S. and Steele, J. (2021) Implementing a system-wide cancer prehabilitation programme: the journey of greater Manchester's ‘Prehab4cancer’. European Journal of Surgical Oncology, 47(3), 524-532.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 11 Nov 2022
Event13th International Head and Neck Quality of Life Conference - Royal Armouries, Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Nov 202211 Nov 2022


Conference13th International Head and Neck Quality of Life Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • prehabilitation
  • mixed methods
  • intervention
  • cancer


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