e-Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2020

The feasibility of exercise interventions delivered via Telehealth for people affected by cancer. (#360)

Kittani Morrison 1 , Catherine Paterson 1 , Kellie Toohey 1
  1. University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT, Australia

Aim: The prevalence of exercise as an adjunct therapy to cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery is growing rapidly and has been shown to improve health outcomes, treatment completion rates and quality of life in people affected by cancer. Given the complexity of delivering cancer services during coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many people who are undergoing cancer treatment are unable to access exercise services. This review aims to investigate: A) the feasibility of exercise telehealth interventions for individuals diagnosed with cancer; b) patient and clinician experiences of exercise via telehealth, including perceived barriers and facilitators to utilising this intervention in routine clinical practice. Methods: The literature search was conducted in four electronic databases (CINAHL, Cochrane, Medline, and Psych Info) from the 1st January 2010 until 1st May 2020. All peer-reviewed qualitative and quantitative studies were included irrespective of study design. Studies that investigated adults (aged ≥ 18 years) with a diagnosis of any cancer, irrespective of treatment type, cancer stage or primary/secondary nature of disease were included. Results: Twenty-nine studies (3698 participants) were included. Across the included studies the interventions were broadly classified into four main areas of telehealth, web-based, mobile apps, SMS messaging, and telephone interventions. Most of the studies used a web-based platform to deliver the exercise intervention. Interestingly, none of the included studies reported using face-to-face telehealth platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or FaceTime. Conclusions: Participants across the studies showed good compliance, symptom relief and reported an overall positive experience using telehealth for exercise. There were no adverse events reported in these studies. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic more research is required to assess the feasibility of telehealth platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or FaceTime, and to determine the overall participant and exercise professional telehealth exercise delivery experience.