Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Feasibility of a novel exercise prehabilitation programme in patients scheduled for elective colorectal surgery: a feasibility randomised controlled trial

Northgraves, Matthew J.; Arunachalam, Lakshmanan; Madden, Leigh A.; Marshall, Philip; Hartley, John E.; MacFie, John; Vince, Rebecca V.


Lakshmanan Arunachalam

John E. Hartley

John MacFie


© 2019, The Author(s). Background and objectives: To investigate the feasibility of delivering a functional exercise-based prehabilitation intervention and its effects on postoperative length of hospital stay, preoperative physical functioning and health-related quality of life in elective colorectal surgery. Materials and methods: In this randomised controlled feasibility trial, 22 elective colorectal surgery patients were randomly assigned to exercise prehabilitation (n = 11) or standard care (n = 11). Feasibility of delivering the intervention was assessed based on recruitment and compliance to the intervention. Impact on postoperative length of hospital stay and complications, preoperative physical functioning (timed up and go test, five times sit to stand, stair climb test, handgrip dynamometry and 6-min walk test) and health-related quality of life were also assessed. Results: Over 42% of patients (84/198) screened were deemed ineligible for prehabilitation due to insufficient time existing prior to scheduled surgery. Of those who were eligible, approximately 18% consented to the trial. Median length of hospital stay was 8 [range 6–27] and 10 [range 5–12] days respectively for the standard care and prehabilitation groups. Patterns towards preoperative improvements for the timed up and go test, stair climb test and 6-min walk test were observed for all participants receiving prehabilitation but not standard care. Conclusions: Despite prehabilitation appearing to convey positive benefits on physical functioning, short surgical wait times and patient engagement represent major obstacles to implementing exercise prehabilitation programmes in colorectal cancer patients.


Northgraves, M. J., Arunachalam, L., Madden, L. A., Marshall, P., Hartley, J. E., MacFie, J., & Vince, R. V. (2019). Feasibility of a novel exercise prehabilitation programme in patients scheduled for elective colorectal surgery: a feasibility randomised controlled trial. Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 20, 2019
Online Publication Date Nov 12, 2019
Publication Date Nov 20, 2019
Deposit Date Nov 12, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 12, 2019
Journal Supportive Care in Cancer
Print ISSN 0941-4355
Electronic ISSN 1433-7339
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Prehabilitation; Colorectal surgery; Exercise programme
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Received: 25 July 2019; Accepted: 20 September 2019; First Online: 12 November 2019; : ; : The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


You might also like

Downloadable Citations