To evaluate the MOVE exercise programme in supporting the recovery of young people affected by cancer.
Participants in an 8-week exercise rehabilitation programme delivered online by cancer rehabilitation specialists completed self-reported questionnaires at baseline and after programme completion. Assessments included cancer-related fatigue (FACIT fatigue scale) and health-related quality of life (EORTC-QLC-30). Qualitative data were provided through written accounts of participant experiences and underwent content analysis.
Seventy-one participants commenced the exercise rehabilitation programme and 57 completed the programme and provided data for analysis (63% female; median age 22 years). Statistically significant improvements were observed in post-programme scores for all measured outcomes (cancer-related fatigue, quality of life, physical functioning, role functioning, emotional functioning). Content analysis of written experiences generated ten unique codes. The highest frequency codes were enjoyment (n = 34), motivation (n = 14) and fitness (n = 13).
These findings indicate feasibility of delivery, acceptability to patients and physical and psychological benefits of a personalised online exercise rehabilitation programme for young people living with and beyond cancer. Further research involving a control arm and long-term follow-up would be beneficial.
Implications for cancer survivors
These results support the inclusion of a personalised exercise programme as part of cancer rehabilitation for young people living with and beyond cancer.