Enhancing Supportive Care for Cancer Survivors with exercise Support in BC (SUCCESS BC)


  • Kristin Campbell
    University of British Columbia
  • Ryna Levy-Milne 
    BC Cancer Agency

Team members:

  • Cristina Caperchione 
    University of British Columbia – Okanagan
  • Guy Faulkner
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Barbara Leslie
    Healthlink BC


  • Sarah Weller
    MSc student

Cancer survival rates are increasing in BC. This highlights a need for supportive care and guidance during and after cancer diagnosis and treatment to optimize overall health, quality of life, engagement in life roles, and to extend life expectancy. One underutilized strategy in cancer care within Canada is the integration of exercise programming within supportive care. There is compelling research evidence that such programming improves many of the side effects of cancer treatment, quality of life, return to work, re-engagement with other life roles and general health, along with reducing the risk of dying from other chronic conditions. However, there are significant barriers to translating this knowledge into clinical practice:

  1. Clinicians report a lack of a referral process to evidence-informed exercise programming in the community provided by qualified exercise professionals.
  2. Cancer survivors report unique barriers to obtaining exercise adoption and maintenance guidance, specifically due to concerns about safety of exercise and desire for guidance from trained exercise professionals with experience working with individuals with a cancer diagnosis and the physical limitations related to side effects of treatment.

BC is in a unique position to be a leader in addressing this knowledge translation gap. Cancer care services are primarily delivered by the distributed sites of the BC Cancer Agency, which all reside in one health authority. This allows for a coordinated approach to knowledge translation with provincial reach. BC is also the only province to have a provincial tele-health system called HealthLink BC, which includes access to qualified exercise professionals. This project will partner with the BC Cancer Agency to develop a model of service delivery that addresses these key barriers to translation of a strong body of research by:

  1. Providing access to evidence-informed and vetted exercise information and guidance through QEP at HealthLink BC to extend the supportive care services available at BC Cancer Agency sites.
  2. A referral process for the healthcare professionals of BC Cancer Agency to connect their patients to these services from a recognized, trusted source.