HKU trial nurses liver cancer patients with dose of exercise

Local | 7 Nov 2018 7:43 pm

The University of Hong Kong is introducing lung cancer patients to the health benefits of exercise under a program in which medics collaborate with the university's sports center.

The pilot program for lung cancer patients is an extension of an initiative called "Exercise is Medicine” under which HKU's Centre for Sport and Exercise aids people with a range of health conditions, RTHK reports.

Since July, some 20 lung cancer patients from Queen Mary Hospital have taken part in the program. They have reported a host of benefits, including higher energy levels, better sleep and improved quality of life overall, according to HKU.

Professor Lin Chia-chin, director of HKU's school of nursing, said: "Our current pilot study in Hong Kong adds to the body of evidence that patients with lung cancer can experience improvements in quality of life by engaging in exercise. The results of the pilot study were positive and we are planning a larger-scale intervention to be conducted in the future."

Under "Exercise is Medicine,'' people using HKU's health clinic are asked to complete a survey on their physical activity. People who are generally healthy but not active may be given information on exercise opportunities. In more serious cases, doctors will refer patients to exercise specialists at the CSE.

Dr Michael Tse, assistant director of the center, said doctors understood the importance of fitness but often lacked the time and expertise to design exercise programs.

"Most medical doctors that you go to, if you find somebody has high blood pressure or has high cholesterol, the general recommendation is to do some exercise," Dr Tse said. "But maybe they don't have the time to do that as well.

"For example if they are more severe cases, where they may have high blood pressure or diabetes, then they would recommend them to the CSE; A) because they don't have time, and B) because there are people in the CSE who will have more experience in doing that. So it's really a kind of cooperation."

Beyond the pilot program, "Exercise is Medicine” is available only to HKU students, staff and their dependants.

A HKU health survey earlier this year found that some 60 percent of 400 staff and students questioned were considered physically inactive - meaning they did not do half an hour of exercise at least twice a week.-Photo: RTHK

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