Prehab4Cancer, a transformational project benefitting newly diagnosed cancer patients in Greater Manchester, is combining the latest research alongside data collection to ensure programme delivery is achieving optimal patient benefits with a view to gain sustainable funding for the future.
Zoe Merchant, Programme Lead at Prehab4Cancer, explained: “A goal for the future of this programme is to clearly demonstrate the clinical outcomes we believe it has, to gain the necessary evidence for expansion into other patients groups and, ultimately, to gain evidence to support a national roll out.”
Research suggests patients who undergo prehab should have improved clinical outcomes, including better survival rates, improved quality of life and recovery, greater tolerance to radical treatments and reduced post-operative complications. This should reduce time spent in hospital or the need for readmission to hospital.
The transformation-funded project will facilitate 2,000 patients over two years to engage in multi-modal prehabilitation. The project includes comprehensive evaluation to provide evidence that its delivery of innovative prehab and rehab is beneficial for the local population. It enables people newly diagnosed with cancer to undertake exercise, nutritional screening and improve their emotional well-being both prior to, during and after treatment.
Merchant commented: “We needed a secure solution that provides a simple referral process, bringing together our data and giving us a single point of access. ReferAll’s online software solution means a medical professional in any hospital or facility can fill out a referral with ease. This is particularly important when implementing system-wide service models for large numbers of patients to ensure people from across Greater Manchester can be referred in.
“Once the patient is referred, they are assessed by a Level 4 Cancer rehab qualified specialist instructor. The programme is then provided for the person locally at one of 87 GM Active leisure facilities, with prescribed exercise programmes graded to the patient’s baseline of ability and, where possible, in line with their personal activity preferences, such as walking groups, classes or gym-based activity etc., particularly in their post-treatment recovery phase. All our data is in one place: we collect information at arrival, after treatment and at the end of the programme. By capturing all the data securely in the online hub, we can easily report on our data and understand trends and the impact for patients.”
In the first 8 weeks since its launch, Prehab4Cancer has seen over 170 referrals, with an uptake rate of 92%. Funded as a Greater Manchester Cancer Transformation project, it is focused on patients treated within the colorectal, head and neck, lung and oesophago-gastric cancer pathways.
Data being collected includes: physiological statistics, such as cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength levels and nutritional markers, as well as patient reported outcomes, such as quality of life, perceived frailty, disability, self-efficacy and activity levels prior to the programme. Crucially, patient experience is also measured to indicate how the programme can be improved and understand, from a patient’s perspective, improvements that can be made to delivery throughout its duration. This is being continually assessed and incorporated into the programme to refine Preab4Cancer’s model of delivery and better meet patient needs.
Merchant concluded: “Our data is allowing us to evaluate and evolve our programme all the time. It clearly highlights what needs to change as we implement it, with the data revealing what works and what doesn’t. One of our short term goals is to encourage our patients to use wearable technology and feed this data into ReferAll to understand what levels of exercise people are achieving. This would create a graded programme, which could be adapted for each patient based on whether they are able to achieve their prescribed exercise dose: truly personalised-care service delivery.”