Availability of prostate cancer exercise rehabilitation resources and practice patterns in Belgium: Results of a cross-sectional study

Exercise is recommended for prostate cancer (PCa) patients treated with androgen deprivation therapy. The goal of the study was to assess the availability of hospital-based rehabilitation resources and national practice patterns for PCa in Belgium. A questionnaire was conducted with rehabilitation physical therapists in all Belgian hospital with urology and rehabilitation departments. Practice patterns were compared with the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines. PCa prevalence data were obtained from the Belgian Cancer Registry and attitude of physicians towards physical activity was documented. We included 98 Belgian hospitals. Only 25% of the PCa population had access to PCa-specific programmes. The occupancy rate of PCa-specific rehabilitation slots was 69%. The main perceived barriers to organise PCa-specific rehabilitation were existence of general programmes (40%) and low referrals (18%). All PCa programmes consisted of aerobic and resistance exercise and 62% included flexibility. Minimal criteria for frequency and duration per session were followed in 83%. The majority (89%) of physicians believed in the positive effects of supervised exercise programmes. The majority of PCa programmes follow the evidence-based guidelines except for flexibility exercises. The minority of PCa patients has access to specific programmes, although not all treatment slots are occupied.

European journal of cancer care. 2017 Nov 02 [Epub ahead of print]

R Bultijnck, B Van Ruymbeke, S Everaert, H Bagué, E Rammant, S Rimbaut, V Fonteyne, N Lumen, K Decaestecker, P Ost

Department of Radiation Oncology and Experimental Cancer Research, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium., Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium., Department of Urology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.