TELehealth EXercise for patients with primary liver cancer: TELEX-Liver Cancer
Principal Investigator: Professor Helen Reeves
Strong evidence from randomised controlled trials supports structured exercise as an adjunctive therapy for patients with cancer. Unfortunately, for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) – who are often older and living with multiple conditions, there are many barriers to successful implementation of structured exercise programmes. These include financial pressures on the NHS and personal barriers for patients, such as lack of confidence, lack of transport, and fears about COVID-19.
Recent advances in technology allow patients to exercise at home under the ‘virtual’ supervision of a physiotherapist through a videoconferencing platform (termed ‘Telehealth’). Telehealth exercise is an exciting opportunity to make exercise accessible to HCC patients, with potential to improve quality of life, physical function, and life expectancy. However, uncertainties remain about its feasibility and acceptability.
Funded by the NIHR Newcastle BRC, this study will recruit patients over the age of 60 who have been diagnosed with HCC. This trial will use quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of delivering online, group exercise sessions to patients with HCC before conducting a larger, evaluative study.