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Impact of a nutrition and physical activity intervention (ENRICH: Exercise and Nutrition Routine Improving Cancer Health) on health behaviors of cancer survivors and carers: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

F G Stacey, K Chapman, A W Boyes, A Girgis, G Asprey, A Bisquera, D R Lubans

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710
JournalBMC Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2015


King's Authors



Physical activity and consuming a healthy diet have clear benefits to the physical and psychosocial health of cancer survivors, with guidelines recognising the importance of these behaviors for cancer survivors. Interventions to promote physical activity and improve dietary behaviors among cancer survivors and carers are needed. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a group-based, face-to-face multiple health behavior change intervention on behavioral outcomes among cancer survivors of mixed diagnoses and carers.


The Exercise and Nutrition Routine Improving Cancer Health (ENRICH) intervention was evaluated using a two-group pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Cancer survivors and carers (n = 174) were randomly allocated to the face-to-face, group-based intervention (six, theory-based two-hour sessions delivered over 8 weeks targeting healthy eating and physical activity [PA]) or wait-list control (after completion of 20-week data collection). Assessment of the primary outcome (pedometer-assessed mean daily step counts) and secondary outcomes (diet and alcohol intake [Food Frequency Questionnaire], self-reported PA, weight, body mass index, and waist circumference) were assessed at baseline, 8-and 20-weeks.


There was a significant difference between the change over time in the intervention group and the control group. At 20 weeks, the intervention group had increased by 478 steps, and the control group had decreased by 1282 steps; this represented an adjusted mean difference of 1761 steps (184 to 3337; P = 0.0028). Significant intervention effects for secondary outcomes, included a half serving increase in vegetable intake (difference 39 g/day; 95 % CI: 12 to 67; P = 0.02), weight loss (kg) (difference -1.5 kg; 95 % CI, -2.6 to -0.3; P = 0.014) and change in body mass index (kg/m2) (difference -0.55 kg/m2; 95 % CI, -0.97 to -0.13; P = 0.012). No significant intervention effects were found for self-reported PA, total sitting time, waist circumference, fruit, energy, fibre, alcohol, meat, or fat consumption.


The ENRICH intervention was effective for improving PA, weight, body mass index, and vegetable consumption even with the inclusion of multiple cancer types and carers. As an example of successful research translation, the Cancer Council NSW has subsequently adopted ENRICH as a state-wide program.

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