Healthy Living after Cancer
Despite considerable evidence, lifestyle interventions are not incorporated into the routine care of cancer survivors. Healthy Living after Cancer (HLaC) is a NHMRC-funded Partnership Project (2015 – 2019) evaluating the implementation of an evidence-based, telephone-delivered lifestyle program by four Cancer Councils (NSW, VIC, SA, WA) via their 13 11 20 service. Cancer survivors, following treatment with curative intent, are eligible for the free, six-month program of behaviourally-based support to achieve internationally-agreed recommendations for physical activity, healthy eating and healthy weight. In this phase IV dissemination study (single-group, pre-post design; baseline, 6, 12-month assessment), primary outcomes relate to program implementation: adoption (referral sources); reach (# of participants) and retention; participant and staff satisfaction; fixed and recurrent costs of program delivery. Secondary outcomes are patient-reported and validated measures of: physical activity and dietary intake/behaviour, weight, quality of life, cancer-related side-effects, and fear of recurrence. Program completers are offered the option of a further 6-months of tailored text messages to support maintenance of behaviour change. To date, 500+ participants have enrolled: 89% female; mean age 57 (SD = 11); average BMI = 29 kg/m2 (SD = 6); with a wide range of cancers; retention rate = 59%. Among the first 203 program completers, significant (p<.05) and clinically-meaningful improvements have been seen in all secondary, patient-reported outcomes. This University-Cancer Council collaboration provides an opportunity for national dissemination of an evidence-based intervention to support healthy living among cancer survivors. Rigorous evaluation of service-level and patient-reported outcomes will provide the practice-based evidence needed to inform decisions about sustained delivery.