How to submit a proposal

Paper proposals should include information on authors, working title, the research question(s) to be addressed, the variables to be included, the analysis plan, the timetable and targeted journal(s). An example of a protocol can be found below. This proposal can be send to and



Example proposal scientific publication POLARIS

  1. Working title

Effectiveness of exercise interventions on health-related quality of life. A meta-analysis on individual patient data.


  1. Name and affiliation of first/lead author

Laurien M Buffart

EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and the VU University Medical Center, department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.


  1. Suggested co-author(s)

    Kalter, J. Brug, R.U. Newton, K.S. Courneya, M. Chin A Paw


  1. Email address for correspondence


  1. Rationale

Optimizing quality of life (QoL) for cancer patients during and after primary cancer treatment requires evidence‐based rehabilitation and supportive care. Numerous rehabilitation and supportive care programs aiming at improving QoL are available. These programs focus on exercise and psychosocial function, and generally use a one‐size fits all approach. However, clinical practice shows that these programs may be effective in some patients but not in others. Various RCTs have been conducted to evaluate these programs, with a main emphasis on exercise and psychosocial support. However, mean effect sizes of the rehabilitation and supportive care programs on QoL outcomes were generally small to moderate. Explanations for small to moderate effects include problems with program participation, adherence and success, and the use of one‐size fits all‐approaches to improve QoL in a heterogeneous group of cancer patients. Since every cancer patient is unique, care should be tailored to the individual needs, preferences, capabilities and characteristics of each patient. The Predicting OptimaL cAncer RehabIlitation and Supportive care (POLARIS) study aims to determine what rehabilitation and supportive care program works best for whom, under what circumstances, and through which mechanisms. In addition, to stimulate active participation of clinicians and patients making the most optimal choice for rehabilitation and supportive care programs, a clinical decision rule will be built and implemented. This paper focuses on the first step, i.e. evaluation of the effectiveness of physical activity and exercise interventions on QoL in cancer patients and survivors, based on a meta-analysis of individual patient data from existing RCTs.


  1. Research question(s)

What is the effectiveness of physical activity and exercise interventions on (health-related) quality of life compared with usual care or wait-list control group in cancer patients and survivors.


  1. Variables to be used
  • Outcomes: Quality of life, sociodemographic characteristics (age, gender, education), clinical characteristics (type of treatment, length of treatment, confidence in treatment, presence of co-morbidities, performance status), intervention characteristics (mode, duration, intensity, frequency, supervision).
  • Patient population: all diagnosis
  • Time points: pre-and post intervention values, of physical activity/interventions during and after cancer treatment.


  1. Method of analyses

The primary outcome of the study is (health-related) QoL at the end of the intervention. Other variables that will be used in the statistical analysis are baseline Qol, cancer diagnosis, cancer stage, time since diagnosis when starting the intervention, gender, age at baseline, education level at baseline, intervention mode (e.g. resistance, endurance), intervention duration, exercise intensity, exercise frequency, exercise session duration, exercise supervision (i.e. yes/no), treatment type (e.g. radiotherapy), length of treatment, confidence in treatment, performance status (e.g. Karnofsky Performance Scale), and presence of co morbidities. Multilevel regression analyses will be used to evaluate the effect of physical activity/exercise interventions on QoL.


  1. Time schedule

Data analysis and drafting the article 01-01-2014 to 31-03-2014.

Submission, after collaborators meeting (mid 2014).


  1. Proposed journal

Journal of Clinical Oncology