A pilot project in preparation for the randomized control trial: “Moving On After Breast Cancer”

Presenter: Emily Nasson

Research Category: Health Sciences
Student Type: Undergraduate
Additional Authors: Marin Little, Lucy Burrage
PI: AnnMarie Flores, PT, PhD, CLT
Award Winner Category: Health Sciences

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Background: The “Moving On” pilot study is designed to evaluate acceptability and feasibility of an early physical therapy education intervention for pre-surgical breast cancer survivors.

Methods: Participants are recruited from the Brigham and Women’s Comprehensive Breast Center during the standard pre-operative testing and nursing education session. Clinical and survey measures are taken at baseline, post-operative week 2 and month 3. Data collected includes shoulder range of motion, grip and shoulder strength, body composition, and extracellular fluid volume. Survey items provide data on comorbidities, health-related quality of life, insurance and socioeconomic status. The intervention is evaluated with a survey on all aspects of the intervention. Participants are randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Both groups receive standard BWH pre-operative nursing education. The intervention group additionally receives the “Moving On” booklet emphasizing physical and functional recovery, exercise DVD and supplies (exercise ball and wand).

Results: To date we have recruited 22 participants (nintervention = 9; ncontrol = 13). Our participants are equivalent in terms of age, race, ethnicity, surgical approach and insurance. Intervention participants’ voluntary feedback supports that the content, mode and timing of delivery is acceptable and feasible prior to surgery.

Conclusion: Our study suggests that the “Moving On” intervention is acceptable and feasible prior to surgery. Participant recruitment will continue to evaluate potential effects of the intervention.

Clinical Relevance: ”Moving On” may hold potential to reduce or eliminate physical and functional impairments during the acute and sub-acute phases of surgical recovery for patients with breast or other cancers.