Feasibility study to assess the impact of a lifestyle intervention (‘LivingWELL’) in people having an assessment of their family history of colorectal or breast cancer

Annie S. Anderson (Lead / Corresponding author), Jacqueline Dunlop, Stephanie Gallant, Maureen Macleod, Zosia Miedzybrodska, Nanette Mutrie, Ronan E. O’Carroll, Martine Stead, Robert J. C. Steele, Rod S. Taylor, Sarah Vinnicombe, Jonathan Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
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Objectives: To assess the feasibility of delivering and evaluating a weight management (WM) programme for overweight patients with a family history (FH) of breast (BC) or colorectal (CRC) cancer.

Study Design: A two arm (intervention versus usual care) RCT

Setting: NHS Tayside and NHS Grampian

Participants: People with a FH of BC or CRC aged >18 years and Body Mass Index >25kg/m2 referred to NHS genetic services

Intervention: Participants were randomised to a control (lifestyle booklet) or 12 week intervention arm where they were given one face to face counselling session, 4 telephone consultations and web based support. A goal of 5% reduction in body weight was set and a personalised diet and physical activity (PA) programme provided. Behavioural change techniques (motivational interviewing, action and coping plans and implementation intentions) were utilised.

Primary outcome: Feasibility measures – recruitment, programme implementation, fidelity measures, achieved measurements and retention, participant satisfaction assessed by questionnaire and qualitative interviews.

Secondary outcomes: Measured changes in weight and PA and reported diet and psycho-social measures between baseline and 12 week follow-up.

Results: Of 480 patients approached, 196 (41%) expressed interest in the study and of those 78 (40%) were randomised. Implementation of the programme was challenging within the time allotted and fidelity to the intervention modest (62%). Qualitative findings indicated the programme was well received. Questionnaires and anthropometric data were completed by >98%. Accelerometer data was attained by 84% and 54% at baseline and follow up respectively. Retention at 12 weeks was 76%. Overall, 36% of the intervention group (vs 0% in control) achieved 5% weight loss. Favourable increases in PA and reduction in dietary fat were also reported.

Conclusions: A lifestyle programme for people with a family history of cancer is feasible to conduct, acceptable to participants and indicative results suggest favourable outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere019410
Number of pages11
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Early online date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Cancer genetics
  • Nutritional support
  • Preventive medicine
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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