Research has shown that exercise positively benefits people both during and after cancer treatment. It can help patients with their energy levels, assists with stress and anxiety levels, strengthens muscles and improves mobility. However, we also know that after a cancer diagnosis, patients can find some days harder than others when it comes to exercise.
The Royal Hobart Hospital currently offers an eight-week exercise program for cancer patients, but we do not know if patients continue to exercise after the program ends.
To support the knowledge in this area, the Foundation is funding a research project that will examine what drives patients to stay active during their cancer journey. The new Understanding Physical Activity after Cancer exercise Therapy (UNPACT) study will explore what cancer survivors see as the barriers to ongoing exercise and what helps them stay active.
The new research project will be led by physiotherapist Sajina Mathew (pictured) and supported by a multidisciplinary team of clinicians across the Tasmanian Health Service. Together, this expert group of researchers will look at what patients find to be the barriers and enablers to physical activity. The findings will be used to make modifications to the Hospital’s existing short-term exercise program to ensure patients remain engaged in physical activity well into the future.
The Foundation is proud to be supporting such a significant study that will make a huge difference to the long-term health outcomes of our local community.