The programme was developed in response to current research findings which demonstrate the benefit of exercise and healthy life-style on the quality of life and longevity of patients living with a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
The aim of the programme was to ensure, through a multi-disciplinary approach, that patients had access to core and individualised elements of a therapeutic rehabilitation programme.
Patients with stable disease were referred from the urology department of the local hospital. They had an average age of 75 years and all were individually assessed prior to the programme to ascertain their level of physical ability.
The six week programme was held one afternoon per week and divided into two sessions. The first hour was an education session for patients and partners on a variety of topics given by different health care professionals.
The second hour consisted of an exercise session for the patients whilst their partners had a separate session led by members of the team. In addition patients were given pedometers and personal diaries which were used as a supportive self-management tool.
The impact of the programme was determined by assessing pre and post programme data. Questionnaires were completed by the patients, namely the EQ-5D-3L, the EQ-VAS and the FACT-P to assess change in quality of life. They also completed a six minute walk test to objectively measure their physical ability. Both patients and carers completed a feedback form at the end of the course.
General feedback was very positive and results from the quality of life data indicated the course had a positive impact on patients, particularly with regard to their sex life. Patients also increased their six minute walk distance by an average of fifteen metres indicating the value of the exercise programme.
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