Helping prostate cancer survivors in disadvantaged areas

Melinda Craike will study the feasibility of a brief, nurse-led behaviour change intervention to increase physical activity for prostate cancer survivors living in disadvantaged communities

  • Topic: Prostate cancer
  • Institution: Victoria University
  • Country: Australia
  • Status: Completed
Researcher: Melinda Craike

Grant title

Can nurse led interventions improve physical activity in prostate cancer survivors living in disadvantaged communities?


Prostate cancer survivors often experience ongoing adverse physical and psychological effects of treatment and of living with cancer. Some of these effects can be improved by physical activity.


This study tested the feasibility and acceptability of delivering a short, nurse-led physical activity intervention in a specialised healthcare setting (hospital-based cancer care) to increase physical activity in prostate cancer survivors who live in socio-economically disadvantaged areas.

How it was done

This study used a mixed methods design, and participants completed questionnaires before and after the intervention. Nurses were recruited from the partner hospital. Nurses identified a list of prostate cancer survivors who may be eligible, and they were assessed for full eligibility criteria by the study coordinator. The intervention included three, 10-20-minute sessions over 12 weeks over the phone, delivered by cancer nurses. The intervention involved reviewing physical activity done over the past week, assessing goals and problem solving and was tailored to overcome some of the barriers faced by men from socio-economically disadvantaged areas.


Minimum criteria for moving to full trial was only met on 50% (2/4) of measured feasibility indicators examined. The participant recruitment rate of enrolled prostate cancer survivors was 2.1% (2/95). Nurses closely followed the intervention protocols, indicating good fidelity. Nurses and intervention participants indicated moderate/low acceptability, noting various resource, health and motivational barriers. The current study was deemed to have low feasibility in the current setting and population.


The current study was identified as not feasible in its current form in the current context. Despite low feasibility, we were able to enhance our understanding of barriers to intervention participation and physical activity among prostate cancer survivors living in a socially disadvantaged area, and of intervention delivery and contextual factors that impacted the delivery of care in this setting. This study highlighted the importance of contextual factors in intervention success, and the importance of having an in-depth understanding of contextual factors (e.g., resourcing, organisational norms prior to intervening within a complex system. Additionally, in reporting this study, we address the significant publication bias surrounding under-reporting of null findings.