Background: Exercise programmes can increase cardiopulmonary reserve and functional capacity prior to surgery and can improve clinical, functional and survival outcomes after a colorectal cancer diagnosis. However, the impact of pre- and postoperative exercise on postoperative recovery outcomes and longer-term health-related quality of life are unknown; thus, there is a need for high-quality randomized controlled trials. Method: SupPoRtive Exercise Programmes for Accelerating REcovery after major Abdominal Cancer surgery (PREPARE-ABC) is a three-arm multicentre randomized controlled trial with internal pilot. The primary objective is to assess the effects of pre- and postoperative exercise on surgical outcomes and longer-term health-related quality of life in cancer patients undergoing colorectal resection. The aim of PREPARE-ABC is to randomize 1146 patients at the individual level (1:1:1) to hospital-supervised exercise, home-supported exercise or treatment as usual. The primary outcomes are short-term (30-day) morbidity, assessed using the Clavien–Dindo classification, and longer-term health-related quality of life, assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study Health Questionnaire (36-item Short-Form Survey [SF-36]). Secondary outcomes include cardiopulmonary fitness, physical activity behaviour change, psychological health status and cost-effectiveness. A process evaluation of intervention delivery and usual care also will be undertaken. Discussion: This is the first UK-based definitive randomized controlled trial to investigate the effects of pre- and postoperative exercise on short-term postoperative health outcomes and longer-term health-related quality of life in colorectal cancer patients. The trial will yield robust clinical and cost-effectiveness data to underpin clinical guidance on how exercise programmes should be implemented in the routine management of patients undergoing major colorectal cancer surgery.
- colorectal cancer
- exercise prehabilitation
- health-related quality of life
- postoperative recovery