To assess safety, satisfaction, and overall adherence of a center-based cardiac rehabilitation (CBCR) program for cancer survivors at increased cardiovascular (CV) risk, compared to community-based exercise training (CBET).
The CORE study was a single-center, prospective, randomized controlled trial enrolling cancer survivors exposed to cardiotoxic cancer treatment and/or with previous CV disease. Participants were randomized to an 8-week CBCR program or CBET, twice a week. Overall feasibility (consent, retention, and completion rates), intervention adherence (percentage of exercise sessions attended), and safety were assessed. Adverse events (AEs) were registered, and participants’ satisfaction was measured at the end of the study.
Eighty out of 116 potentially eligible individuals were included; consent rate was 72.4%, and 77 (96.2%) started the study (retention rate 100% in CBCR vs 92.5% in CBET); completion rate was 92.5%. Intervention adherence was higher in CBCR (90.3 ± 11.8% vs 68.4 ± 22.1%, p < 0.001). Exercise-related AEs were mainly related to musculoskeletal conditions in both groups (7 in CBCR vs 20 in CBET, p < 0.001), accounting for exercise prescription modification in 47 sessions (18 (3.3%) in CBCR vs 29 (7.2%) in CBET, p = 0.006), none motivating exercise discontinuation. No participants reported major CV events. Overall, the satisfaction with the different aspects of the programs (e.g., expectations, monitoring) was higher in the CBCR.
This exploratory analysis of the CORE trial suggests that both exercise-based interventions are feasible and safe in this setting. The higher intervention adherence and patient satisfaction in CBCR suggest that this comprehensive approach could be of interest in this population.