Prostate Cancer Survivors Moving Toward Exercise (PROMOTE)


Prostate cancer remains the most frequently diagnosed cancer among Canadian men, with an estimated 24,600 men being diagnosed in 2010.  In Alberta specifically, roughly 2,500 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 440 men will die of the disease in 2010 (Canadian Cancer Society, 2011). Improvements in the treatment of prostate cancer has reduced tumour growth and improved survival rates, however, it has also been associated with significant negative changes in cancer survivors’ quality of life, physical functioning, body fat percentage and fatigue levels that may persist for years following treatment.  One behavioural strategy that has been consistently shown to combat these negative side effects and enhance psychosocial and physical well-being in prostate cancer survivors is physical activity.  Unfortunately it has been established that physical activity levels decline significantly from pre-diagnosis to during treatment and may never regain pre-diagnosis levels; thus it is important to test novel, innovative and inexpensive ways to increase physical activity patterns in prostate cancer survivors. 


The primary purpose of the study is to determine the effects of an implementation intention intervention on physical activity behaviour in prostate cancer survivors. Secondary aims are to (a) compare the effects of a telephone-assisted implementation intention intervention against a self-administered implementation intention intervention and a standard recommendation group on physical activity behaviour and (b) document the effects of these interventions on quality of life, fatigue, symptom management, and physical functioning.


A three-arm randomized controlled trial for prostate cancer survivors will be performed through the Alberta Cancer Registry.  To obtain a sample of at least 300 participants, 1500 prostate cancer survivors will be contacted in the initial mail-out.  Following the initial mail-out prostate cancer survivors agreeing to participate in the study will be randomized to one of the three conditions.  All groups will receive a written physical activity recommendation, as well as the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.  In addition to the physical activity materials, participants in the telephone-assisted and self-administered groups will be asked to complete an implementation intention intervention. Finally, the telephone-assisted group will receive a 10-20 minute telephone call to assist them with the completion of implementation intention intervention. Measures at baseline (i.e., initial mail-out) will include self-reported physical activity, demographic, health and medical factors, quality of life, fatigue, physical functioning. Follow-up at month 1 and 3 following the intervention will include self-reported physical activity, quality of life, fatigue and physical function measures.


This mail-out study will offer insight into the effects of an implementation intention intervention on physical activity levels in an understudied cancer population, and further explore the effect of physical activity as part of the usual care recommended for the treatment of prostate cancer on quality of life, fatigue and symptom management.