• Development and feasibility of a Swallowing intervention Package (SiP) for patients receiving radiotherapy treatment for head and neck cancer—the SiP study protocol

      Wells, Mary; King, Emma; Toft, Kate; MacAulay, Fiona; Patterson, Joanne; Dougall, Nadine; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Boa, Sally; Slaven, Eleanor; Cowie, Julie; et al. (BioMed Central, 2016-08-04)
      Background Head and neck cancer (HNC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide, and the functional, psychological and social consequences of HNC cancer and its treatment can be severe and chronic. Dysphagia (swallowing problems) affects up to two thirds of patients undergoing combined chemoradiotherapy. Recent reviews suggest that prophylactic swallowing exercises may improve a range of short- and long-term outcomes; however, the importance of psychological and behavioural factors on adherence to swallowing exercises has not been adequately studied. This study aims to develop and test the feasibility of a Swallowing intervention Package (SiP) designed in partnership with patients, speech and language therapists (SLTs) and other members of the head and neck multi-disciplinary team (MDT), for patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy (CRT) or radiotherapy (RT) for head and neck cancer. Methods/design This feasibility study uses quantitative and qualitative research methods, within a quasi-experimental design, to assess whether patients will tolerate and adhere to the SiP intervention, which aspects of the intervention can be implemented and which cannot, whether treatment fidelity can be achieved across different contexts, whether study processes and outcome measures will be feasible and acceptable and to what extent the intervention is likely to have an impact on swallowing dysfunction and quality of life. Patients are being recruited from five sites in Scotland and England (three interventions and two usual care). The SLT based in the relevant intervention centre teaches the exercise programme and provides supporting materials. A combination of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), adherence measures and clinical swallowing assessments are used prior to intervention (baseline), at the end of treatment, 3 and 6 months post-treatment. Discussion This collaborative study has taken a unique approach to the development of a patient-centred and evidence-based swallowing intervention. The introduction of an e-SiP app provides an exploration of the use of technology in delivering this intervention. The study provides an opportunity to examine the feasibility of delivering and participating in a supported swallowing intervention across several different NHS sites and will provide the evidence needed to refine intervention and study processes for a future trial. Trial registration NCRI portfolio, 18192 & 20259
    • The ReSiT study (reducing sitting time): rationale and protocol for an exploratory pilot study of an intervention to reduce sitting time among office workers

      Gardner, Benjamin; Dewitt, Stephen; Smith, Lee; Buckley, John P.; Biddle, Stuart J. H.; Mansfield, Louise; King's College London; Anglia Ruskin University; University of Chester; University of Southern Queensland; Brunel University (BioMed Central, 2017-11-28)
      Background Desk-based workers engage in long periods of uninterrupted sitting time, which has been associated with morbidity and premature mortality. Previous workplace intervention trials have demonstrated the potential of providing sit-stand workstations, and of administering motivational behaviour change techniques, for reducing sitting time. Yet, few studies have combined these approaches or explored the acceptability of discrete sitting-reduction behaviour change strategies. This paper describes the rationale for a sitting-reduction intervention that combines sit-stand workstations with motivational techniques, and procedures for a pilot study to explore the acceptability of core intervention components among university office workers. Methods The intervention is based on a theory and evidence-based analysis of why office workers sit, and how best to reduce sitting time. It seeks to enhance motivation and capability, as well as identify opportunities, required to reduce sitting time. Thirty office workers will participate in the pilot study. They will complete an initial awareness-raising monitoring and feedback task and subsequently receive a sit-stand workstation for a 12-week period. They will also select from a ‘menu’ of behaviour change techniques tailored to self-declared barriers to sitting reduction, effectively co-producing and personally tailoring their intervention. Interviews at 1, 6, and 12 weeks post-intervention will explore intervention acceptability. Discussion To our knowledge, this will be the first study to explore direct feedback from office workers on the acceptability of discrete tailored sitting-reduction intervention components that they have received. Participants’ choice of and reflections on intervention techniques will aid identification of strategies suitable for inclusion in the next iteration of the intervention, which will be delivered in a self-administered format to minimise resource burden. Trial registration ISRCTN29395780 (registered 21 November 2016)