- On 17/11/2020
When MannaCare’s Program for Oncology Wellness and Exercise Rehabilitation (POWER) was established in 2018, POWER teamed up with oncology researchers at La Trobe University, Dr Casey Peiris and Amy Dennett to evaluate the innovative community based exercise and wellness program.
POWER is the first oncology exercise program to run a multi-site structure utilising both a community rehabilitation centre (MannaCare’s Doncaster Rehabilitation Services) and community gym (Aquarena Aquatic and Leisure Centre) over a 12 week period. This multi-site program aimed to increase client confidence in a community gym setting, while still providing personalised and tailored exercise in a safe community setting.
The pilot POWER program was run over a 12 month period. Those who entered the 12 week program received twice weekly tailored, supervised exercise from an exercise physiologist and physiotherapist trained in oncology rehabilitation. Participants were also able to access a free counselling service supported by Monash University, as well as fortnightly wellness seminars.
Initial findings from the program suggest this novel approach to community-based oncology rehabilitation had a significant positive effect on both the physical and emotional health of participants. The POWER program addresses a gap in oncology rehabilitation post-treatment and has highlighted the feasibility and need for community based oncology exercise programs for those who have received a cancer diagnosis.
This strong evidence has allowed MannaCare to grow POWER with the support of Bendigo Bank Templestowe Lower and Doncaster East Branch, which has provided funding for the next three years.
The research is currently published in the Journal of Cancer Rehabilitation.