Surgery and treatment for colorectal cancer (CRC) in the elderly patient increase the risk of developing post-operative complications, losing functional independence, and worsening health-related quality of life (HRQoL). There is a lack of high-quality randomized controlled trials evaluating the potential benefit of exercise as a countermeasure. The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a home-based multicomponent exercise program for improving HRQoL and functional capacity in older adults undergoing CRC surgery and treatment.
This randomized, controlled, observer-blinded, single-center trial aims to randomize 250 patients (>74 years) to either an intervention or a control group (i.e., usual care). The intervention group will perform an individualized home-based multicomponent exercise program with weekly telephone supervision from diagnosis until three months post-surgery. The primary outcomes will be HRQoL (EORTC QLQ-C30; CR29; and ELD14) and functional capacity (Barthel Index and Short Physical Performance Battery), which will be assessed at diagnosis, at discharge, and one, three, and six months after surgery. Secondary outcomes will be frailty, physical fitness, physical activity, inspiratory muscle function, sarcopenia and cachexia, anxiety and depression, ambulation ability, surgical complications, and hospital length of stay, readmission and mortality.
This study will examine the effects of an exercise program in older patients with CRC across a range of health-related outcomes. Expected findings are improvement in HRQoL and physical functioning. If proven effective, this simple exercise program may be applied in clinical practice to improve CRC care in older patients. ID: NCT05448846.

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