Feasibility and pilot testing of an online intervention for post-treatment cancer survivors

  • A. Groarke
  • T. Corbett
  • J. Walsh
  • B. McGuire


Background: Many post-treatment cancer survivors experience persistent fatigue that can disrupt attempts to resume normal everyday activities after treatment. Interventions to address these symptoms are therefore, of value. A theory-based intervention aimed to facilitate self-management and enhance coping with fatigue following cancer treatment was developed. The trial has been registered (ISRCTN55763085) and the protocol has been published. Methods: An 8-week cognitive–behavioural therapy intervention was designed based on a review of existing literature and qualitative research. Inductive qualitative research assessed the usability of the website. A 2-armed randomised controlled pilot trial assessed the feasibility of the online intervention . Forty participants were included for analysis at baseline (intervention N = 21, control N =19), and 24 filled out the follow-up questionnaire. A pilot trial is ongoing to assess the potential effectiveness of the online intervention Participants are allocated to either the online intervention (REFRESH (Recovery from Cancer-Related Fatigue), or a leaflet comparator. 
Findings: The intervention was considered acceptable to users, who described the intervention as “fruitful”, and“helpful”. The researchers created a protocol for a feasibility study. The feasibility of trial procedures will be discussed, as well as the effect of the intervention on the outcomes. Discussion: This is the first intervention based on Self Regulation Model, with the primary aim of targeting the representations of fatigue and enhancing self-management of CrF specifically. This study may lead to the development of a supportive resource to target representations and coping strategies of cancer survivors with CrF post-treatment.