Moving on: A pilot study for acceptability and feasibility of early physical therapy education for breast cancer survivors

Abstract

Purpose. This pilot study will 1) æevaluate acceptability and feasibility of an early physical therapy education (PTE) intervention for pre-surgical breast cancer (BCA) survivors; 2) predict effect sizes for an RCT to test the PTE on long-term BCA survivorship outcomes (eg: disability, functional impairment). æMethods/Data. We draw our sample from the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Brigham and WomenÍs Hospital and randomly allocate participants to the intervention (IG) and control groups (CG). The IG receives the PTE (booklet, exercise DVD, range of motion wand and small ball + standard BWH pre-operative orientation). The CG receives only standard BWH pre-operative surgical orientation. Our outcome variables are: acceptability and satisfaction levels with the PTE. We compare groups by shoulder range of motion, muscle strength, body composition, fluid bioimpedence, shoulder disability, pain, and fatigue. We control for sociodemographics, medical history, and insurance status. All measures are reliable, valid and taken pre-surgically (T0), 2nd post-operative week_(T1), and 3rd post-operative month (T2). Data are analyzed with descriptive statistics, repeated measures ANOVA and general linear modeling (1-tailed p < .05). æExpected Results. We expect to recruit 30 participants - of 7 qualifying, we have recruited 3 (1 IG; 2 CG) participants (recruitment rate = 42%). We expect that the PTE is acceptable/ feasible and that the IG will report significantly fewer physical and functional limitations and recover faster than the CG. æSignificance. Our intervention may improve physical/functional outcomes after BCA treatment. Our next step is to seek R01-level funding for the RCT testing the PTE.