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Findings from the APRIL Study

On 21st April 2016, Dr Cathy Payne, AIIHPC and HSC R&D Division Doctoral Fellow, hosted an evening in the Academy Restaurant to disseminate the research findings from her Active Palliative Rehabilitation in Lung Cancer (APRIL) Study and thank the PPI Representatives who had been involved in the design of her research. The event was attended by some members of the research team, Dr Paula Scullion and Dr Jackie Gracey, and representatives of the NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum, the Belfast Trust Lung Cancer Information and Support Group, PIER and others who supported the study.

The Rehabilitation in Palliative Care: The Active Palliative Rehabilitation in Lung Cancer (APRIL) study:

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosis in men and women in Northern Ireland with ~ 1,200 new cases diagnosed each year. (Cancer Research UK)
The APRIL study explored the feasibility and acceptability of palliative rehabilitation through the development and testing of physical activity and nutritional guidance for people with advanced inoperable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving systemic therapy (chemotherapy or epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor treatment).

STUDY RECRUITMENT
Forty-nine patients were screened for the study over a ten month period. Eighteen people were found eligible based on cancer stage, treatment potential and physical fitness. Eleven people were recruited to the study of which eight completed final assessment.
Participants completed a daily activity diary and record daily pedometer step count for six weeks alongside their cancer treatment. Individual goals for exercise and nutritional intake were reassessed weekly dependent on barriers and enablers to behaviour change.

METHODS
Participants completed a daily activity diary and record daily pedometer step count for six weeks alongside their cancer treatment. Individual goals for exercise and nutritional intake were reassessed weekly dependent on barriers and enablers to behaviour change.

KEY FINDINGS
1) Many people diagnosed with advanced NSCLC (non small cell lung cancer) are both willing and interested in engaging in palliative rehabilitation research.
2) Participation in APRIL led to perceived improvements in physical and psychosocial well-being.
3) Palliative rehabilitation to support people to live as they wish, for as long as they are able, should be a key consideration for all those diagnosed with a life-threatening or life-limiting condition.

The study was funded through a Doctoral Fellowship by the All-Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) and the HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland. 

The research team included: Payne C.1,3, Larkin P.J.2,3, McIlfatrick S.1 , Dunwoody L.4 , Gracey J.H.1

1 Institute of Nursing and Health Research, Ulster University, Jordanstown,
2 University College Dublin, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, Dublin,
3 Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services, Dublin,
4 Psychology Research Institute, Ulster University, Coleraine
 
Download a study leaflet >