As part of PREPARE ABC we would like to understand what standard practice is currently like in colorectal units in the hospitals involved in the study, how the study is delivered and what staff and patients views about the study are.

Describing ‘standard care’

We would like to understand what ‘standard care’ looks like in colorectal units in hospitals across the U.K. In order to find this out and be able to describe it, we are carrying out a telephone survey with a colorectal nurse specialist in each of the units involved in PREPARE ABC.

We are also interested in understanding what happens during the consultations between patients and health care professionals both before and after their curative colorectal cancer surgery. We are therefore observing a range of these consultations including the patient’s appointments with a colorectal nurse specialist, pre-operative assessments with an anaesthetist and follow up appointments with their consultant or specialist nurse.

Describing ‘intervention delivery’

We would like to observe how the exercise intervention is provided to patients who take part in the ‘supervised hospitals based exercise’ and ‘home based exercise’ parts of the trial. In order to do this we will be observing both the 45 minute counselling session provided to patients and the supervised hospital sessions on the exercise bike. We are interested in understanding how the ideas in the exercise manuals and the theories described by the study are delivered in real life settings. 

Describing ‘treatment as usual’

It is important that we also observe the care that patients receive who take part in the ‘treatment as usual’ arm of the study. In order to do this we will observing pre and post-surgery consultations for these patients during the trial.

Finding out what staff and patients think

We would like to find out what patients and staff thought taking part in the study would be like, what their experiences of the trial were and what they thought about the exercise interventions. To do this we will be carrying out interviews with both the staff who delivered the study and the patients who took part.


The flow-chart below shows an overview of what the Process Evaluation team will be doing and when: