Promoting the health and well-being of cancer survivors is an important public health goal. Relatively little survivorship research has engaged gynecological cancer survivors. Opportunities remain to identify lifestyle interventions efficacious in improving quality of life in this population. Moreover, research suggests that quality of life is also compromised in the spouses/partners of cancer survivors. Relatively unknown is how to design and deliver interventions that promote the health and well-being of both the cancer survivor and their spouse/partner. In the proposed study, we have the following Aims: (1) Establish the feasibility and acceptability of a couples-based dance intervention (RHYTHM) among gynecological cancer survivors and their spouses/partners;(2) Quantify potential effects (and variation) on the following endpoints: health-related quality of life (HRQOL), relationship adjustment, physical activity and functioning;(3) Identify theoretical constructs that mediate the relationship between the intervention and outcomes;and (4) Determine the cost of the intervention to participants. Methods: We will use a wait-list control design and enroll 50 gynecological cancer survivors and their spouses/partners recruited from oncology clinics and the Alabama State Cancer Registry. Survivors will have completed their primary cancer treatment. Participants in the intervention arm will receive dance lessons over a 12-week period (couples-based dance) provided by Fred Astaire Dance studios. HRQOL (i.e., SF36), relationship adjustment, physical activity and physical function (i.e., 6-minute walk test), will be assessed at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and 6 months post- intervention. Outcomes will be measured in both cancer survivors and their partners. Significance: Delivering quality cancer care across the cancer continuum is a national priority. Our partner-based dance intervention is a novel approach to enhancing quality of life, enhancing relationship outcomes, and promoting a healthy lifestyle in gynecologic cancer survivors and their partners. Results of this exploratory study will inform initiatives that seek to maintain the health and well-being of cancer survivors and those they love. Public Health Impact: Consistent with the Institute of Medicine's goal to deliver cancer care that promotes a healthy lifestyle and improves quality of life of cancer survivors, our novel study will explore the potential of an intervention (couple-based dance) on improving these outcomes for both cancer survivors and their partners. In this unique approach, we test the efficacy of an intervention already available in many communities. If dance interventions are deemed efficacious, the potential for broad based dissemination of similar programs is great.
Maintaining the health and well-being of cancer survivors is an important public health goal. In this innovative study, we will engage gynecological cancer survivors and their spouses/partners in a couple-based dance intervention. We will establish the feasibility and acceptability of delivering this intervention and assess its impact on quality of lfe, physical activity and function, and relationship adjustment in both cancer survivors and their spouses/partners.