In the UK, studies have reported a range of health benefits following interventions to increase physical activity and improve dietary behaviours, also known as lifestyle behaviour changes after primary treatment of early-stage breast cancer.
Identified barriers to positive lifestyle behaviour change include a lack of motivation, fears about cancer recurrence, physical factors such as common physical side effects of breast cancer treatment (fatigue, lymphoedema, weight gain), the ageing process and contextual/environmental factors such as employment and access to exercise facilities.
In contrast, facilitators for positive lifestyle behaviour change include a desire to lose weight, access to supervised exercise and dietary education, feeling a sense of control, peer support and having an opportunity to regain a sense of normality.
Despite these study findings, breast cancer patients consistently report a lack of accurate information and/or support from health professionals, including accurate lifestyle advice for people living with treatment-induced physical limitations. Offering a route to supported, personalised lifestyle behaviour change interventions could address an important unmet need for women and provide treating clinicians with well-defined advice and guidance at this opportune ‘teachable moment’.
What we plan to do
Through qualitative work, a team of researchers from Northumbria University have developed a lifestyle behaviour change intervention for overweight women following primary treatment of early stage breast cancer.
The intervention will now be tested in a multi-centre, randomised controlled superiority trial. An external pilot trial will assess the feasibility and acceptability of the NEWDAY-ABC intervention and assess the recruitment and retention assumptions.
In collaboration with Northumbria University, Hull Health Trials Unit are responsible for trial management and data management systems for the NEWDAY-ABC study.