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Lifestyle change in the cancer setting using “the teachable moment”: protocol for a proof-of-concept pilot in a Urology Service

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Background: Previous research has shown diagnosis or screening for cancer may be a ‘teachable moment’ for prevention through lifestyle change. Previous trials have been successful, but have been delivered via national programmes targeting patients being screened for colorectal cancer. This manuscript reports the protocol for a proof-of-concept study to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a lifestyle change service targeting men suspected or diagnosed with cancer of the prostate in a secondary care cancer service within the UK.
Methods: Lifestyle change will be promoted through integration of a lifestyle change service in a Urology department in one NHS Board. The service is delivered by a Health Psychologist and uses Motivational Interviewing and behavioural change techniques to motivate and support patients to consider and address topics such as increasing physical activity and a healthy diet, smoking cessation, alcohol reduction and weight loss. A service evaluation will assess feasibility and acceptability via a patient experience survey, a survey exploring staff knowledge, attitudes and practice, pre- and post-intervention lifestyle behaviour survey, and an audit of routine patient database.
Discussion: This pilot will assess the viability of using cancer testing and diagnosis as a ‘teachable moment’ for lifestyle change in a unique population (i.e. men with suspected cancer of the prostate). If successful, this approach offers potential for preventative services to enhance routine and person-centred clinical cancer care provided within secondary care settings.


Original languageEnglish
Article number65
Number of pages13
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2016

    Research areas

  • Lifestyle change, Men, Cancer, Teachable moment, Behaviour change, Protocol, Activity, Diet, Alcohol, Smoking

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