B188: Increasing the frequency of physical activity very brief advice for cancer patients – a mixed methods feasibility study of a training intervention for nurses.

Justin Webb1,2,Jen Hall3,Kirsten Hall4,Raheelah Ahmad2

1Macmillan Cancer Support, London, UK,2University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, UK,3Brunel University, London, UK,4Bath University, Bath, UK

Presenting date: Tuesday 3 November


Only 9% of UK nurses raise the importance of being physically active with all cancer patients. There is a need for the further education of nurses in delivery of very brief advice (VBA) on physical activity.

This mixed methods feasibility study examines the acceptability, practicability, implementation and efficacy of a training intervention to improve the frequency of delivery of VBA.


A purposeful and convenient sample of nurses (n=62) were recruited across two delivery arms, face-to-face (n=55) and online (n=7). Frequency of delivery of physical activity advice was collected at baseline with follow-up at 12weeks. The ‘capability, opportunity and motivation' of nurses to deliver VBA were measured via questionnaire. Semi-structured phone interviews (n=9 face-to-face; n=5 online) were completed and analysed thematically. A cost consequence analysis was undertaken.


The intervention improved the capabilities, opportunities and motivations of nurses resulting in a change in knowledge, attitudes and beliefs towards physical activity. A significant improvement was seen in delivery of VBA at 12weeks (Z=-3.62, p=0.0003).

Personal views, organisational culture and practice impact upon the delivery of VBA and access to training. Only those interested in physical activity search for, and sign up to, online training in this area explaining the low recruitment figures to the online delivery arm.

Face-to-face delivery was preferred however delivery via online seminar was seen as important to save participant time. The cost of delivery across the two intervention arms was £41.77 per nurse, £33.87 in the face-to-face arm and £103.83 in the online arm.


The training intervention was acceptable and practicable. There is merit in both delivery modes. The intervention is suggested to improve VBA delivery in the short-term. A pilot study should follow to confirm the long-term impact of the training intervention on nursing practice and physical activity levels in cancer patients.