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1.  Physical Exercise and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors 
An important goal for cancer patients is to improve the quality of life (QOL) by maximising functions affected by the disease and its therapy. Preliminary research suggests that exercise may be an effective intervention for enhancing QOL in cancer survivors. Research has provided preliminary evidence for the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of exercise training in breast cancer survivors. The aim of this study was to assess the association between physical exercise and quality of life in a population of female breast cancer survivors, followed up from diagnosis to the off-treatment time period, and investigated about their exercise habits in pre-diagnosis.
A total of 212 female breast cancer survivors consecutively registered from January 2002 to December 2006 at a Supportive Care Unit in an Italian Oncology Department were enrolled. Exercise behaviour was assessed by the Leisure Score Index (LSI) of the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire. Patients were asked to report their average weekly exercise for three cancer-related time periods, i.e. pre-diagnosis, during active treatment and off-treatment. Quality of life was assessed by the Italian version of the WHOQOL-BREF standardised instrument.
Statistical analysis indicated significant differences across the cancer-relevant time-periods for all exercise behaviour outcomes: the exercise behaviour was significantly lower during both on- and off- treatment than during prediagnosis; exercise during active treatment was significantly lower than during off-treatment. QOL strongly decreases during active treatment. Significant correlations were found between total exercise on- and off-treatment and all QOL indicators. Strenuous exercise is strongly correlated with QOL. Absent/mild exercise seems to be inversely correlated with a positive perception of disease severity and with quality of life on all axes.
Need clearly results for inclusion of physical activity programs in comprehensive, complementary treatment regimes for breast cancer patients in Italian oncology departments.
PMCID: PMC2204041  PMID: 18219372
Physical exercise; quality of life; breast cancer survivors; Italian Oncology
2.  Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/mas/mas_ohtas_mn.html.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients With Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty_member_giacomini.htm.
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website: http://www.path-hta.ca/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx.
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website: http://theta.utoronto.ca/static/contact.
Objective
The objective of this analysis was to conduct an evidence-based assessment of home telehealth technologies for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in order to inform recommendations regarding the access and provision of these services in Ontario. This analysis was one of several analyses undertaken to evaluate interventions for COPD. The perspective of this assessment was that of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, a provincial payer of medically necessary health care services.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Canada is facing an increase in chronic respiratory diseases due in part to its aging demographic. The projected increase in COPD will put a strain on health care payers and providers. There is therefore an increasing demand for telehealth services that improve access to health care services while maintaining or improving quality and equality of care. Many telehealth technologies however are in the early stages of development or diffusion and thus require study to define their application and potential harms or benefits. The Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) therefore sought to evaluate telehealth technologies for COPD.
Technology
Telemedicine (or telehealth) refers to using advanced information and communication technologies and electronic medical devices to support the delivery of clinical care, professional education, and health-related administrative services.
Generally there are 4 broad functions of home telehealth interventions for COPD:
to monitor vital signs or biological health data (e.g., oxygen saturation),
to monitor symptoms, medication, or other non-biologic endpoints (e.g., exercise adherence),
to provide information (education) and/or other support services (such as reminders to exercise or positive reinforcement), and
to establish a communication link between patient and provider.
These functions often require distinct technologies, although some devices can perform a number of these diverse functions. For the purposes of this review, MAS focused on home telemonitoring and telephone only support technologies.
Telemonitoring (or remote monitoring) refers to the use of medical devices to remotely collect a patient’s vital signs and/or other biologic health data and the transmission of those data to a monitoring station for interpretation by a health care provider.
Telephone only support refers to disease/disorder management support provided by a health care provider to a patient who is at home via telephone or videoconferencing technology in the absence of transmission of patient biologic data.
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and safety of home telemonitoring compared with usual care for patients with COPD?
What is the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and safety of telephone only support programs compared with usual care for patients with COPD?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on November 3, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2000 until November 3, 2010. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist, and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Inclusion Criteria – Question #1
frequent transmission of a patient’s physiological data collected at home and without a health care professional physically present to health care professionals for routine monitoring through the use of a communication technology;
monitoring combined with a coordinated management and feedback system based on transmitted data;
telemonitoring as a key component of the intervention (subjective determination);
usual care as provided by the usual care provider for the control group;
randomized controlled trials (RCTs), controlled clinical trials (CCTs), systematic reviews, and/or meta-analyses;
published between January 1, 2000 and November 3, 2010.
Inclusion Criteria – Question #2
scheduled or frequent contact between patient and a health care professional via telephone or videoconferencing technology in the absence of transmission of patient physiological data;
monitoring combined with a coordinated management and feedback system based on transmitted data;
telephone support as a key component of the intervention (subjective determination);
usual care as provided by the usual care provider for the control group;
RCTs, CCTs, systematic reviews, and/or meta-analyses;
published between January 1, 2000 and November 3, 2010.
Exclusion Criteria
published in a language other than English;
intervention group (and not control) receiving some form of home visits by a medical professional, typically a nurse (i.e., telenursing) beyond initial technology set-up and education, to collect physiological data, or to somehow manage or treat the patient;
not recording patient or health system outcomes (e.g., technical reports testing accuracy, reliability or other development-related outcomes of a device, acceptability/feasibility studies, etc.);
not using an independent control group that received usual care (e.g., studies employing historical or periodic controls).
Outcomes of Interest
hospitalizations (primary outcome)
mortality
emergency department visits
length of stay
quality of life
other […]
Subgroup Analyses (a priori)
length of intervention (primary)
severity of COPD (primary)
Quality of Evidence
The quality of evidence assigned to individual studies was determined using a modified CONSORT Statement Checklist for Randomized Controlled Trials. (1) The CONSORT Statement was adapted to include 3 additional quality measures: the adequacy of control group description, significant differential loss to follow-up between groups, and greater than or equal to 30% study attrition. Individual study quality was defined based on total scores according to the CONSORT Statement checklist: very low (0 to < 40%), low (≥ 40 to < 60%), moderate (≥ 60 to < 80%), and high (≥ 80 to 100%).
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
Six publications, representing 5 independent trials, met the eligibility criteria for Research Question #1. Three trials were RCTs reported across 4 publications, whereby patients were randomized to home telemonitoring or usual care, and 2 trials were CCTs, whereby patients or health care centers were nonrandomly assigned to intervention or usual care.
A total of 310 participants were studied across the 5 included trials. The mean age of study participants in the included trials ranged from 61.2 to 74.5 years for the intervention group and 61.1 to 74.5 years for the usual care group. The percentage of men ranged from 40% to 64% in the intervention group and 46% to 72% in the control group.
All 5 trials were performed in a moderate to severe COPD patient population. Three trials initiated the intervention following discharge from hospital. One trial initiated the intervention following a pulmonary rehabilitation program. The final trial initiated the intervention during management of patients at an outpatient clinic.
Four of the 5 trials included oxygen saturation (i.e., pulse oximetry) as one of the biological patient parameters being monitored. Additional parameters monitored included forced expiratory volume in one second, peak expiratory flow, and temperature.
There was considerable clinical heterogeneity between trials in study design, methods, and intervention/control. In relation to the telemonitoring intervention, 3 of the 5 included studies used an electronic health hub that performed multiple functions beyond the monitoring of biological parameters. One study used only a pulse oximeter device alone with modem capabilities. Finally, in 1 study, patients measured and then forwarded biological data to a nurse during a televideo consultation. Usual care varied considerably between studies.
Only one trial met the eligibility criteria for Research Question #2. The included trial was an RCT that randomized 60 patients to nurse telephone follow-up or usual care (no telephone follow-up). Participants were recruited from the medical department of an acute-care hospital in Hong Kong and began receiving follow-up after discharge from the hospital with a diagnosis of COPD (no severity restriction). The intervention itself consisted of only two 10-to 20-minute telephone calls, once between days 3 to 7 and once between days 14 to 20, involving a structured, individualized educational and supportive programme led by a nurse that focused on 3 components: assessment, management options, and evaluation.
Regarding Research Question #1:
Low to very low quality evidence (according to GRADE) finds non-significant effects or conflicting effects (of significant or non-significant benefit) for all outcomes examined when comparing home telemonitoring to usual care.
There is a trend towards significant increase in time free of hospitalization and use of other health care services with home telemonitoring, but these findings need to be confirmed further in randomized trials of high quality.
There is severe clinical heterogeneity between studies that limits summary conclusions.
The economic impact of home telemonitoring is uncertain and requires further study.
Home telemonitoring is largely dependent on local information technologies, infrastructure, and personnel, and thus the generalizability of external findings may be low. Jurisdictions wishing to replicate home telemonitoring interventions should likely test those interventions within their jurisdictional framework before adoption, or should focus on home-grown interventions that are subjected to appropriate evaluation and proven effective.
Regarding Research Question #2:
Low quality evidence finds significant benefit in favour of telephone-only support for self-efficacy and emergency department visits when compared to usual care, but non-significant results for hospitalizations and hospital length of stay.
There are very serious issues with the generalizability of the evidence and thus additional research is required.
PMCID: PMC3384362  PMID: 23074421
3.  Telehealth system (e-CUIDATE) to improve quality of life in breast cancer survivors: rationale and study protocol for a randomized clinical trial 
Trials  2013;14:187.
Background
Breast cancer survivors suffer physical impairment after oncology treatment. This impairment reduces quality of life (QoL) and increase the prevalence of handicaps associated to unhealthy lifestyle (for example, decreased aerobic capacity and strength, weight gain, and fatigue). Recent work has shown that exercise adapted to individual characteristics of patients is related to improved overall and disease-free survival. Nowadays, technological support using telerehabilitation systems is a promising strategy with great advantage of a quick and efficient contact with the health professional. It is not known the role of telerehabilitation through therapeutic exercise as a support tool to implement an active lifestyle which has been shown as an effective resource to improve fitness and reduce musculoskeletal disorders of these women.
Methods / Design
This study will use a two-arm, assessor blinded, parallel randomized controlled trial design. People will be eligible if: their diagnosis is of stages I, II, or IIIA breast cancer; they are without chronic disease or orthopedic issues that would interfere with ability to participate in a physical activity program; they had access to the Internet and basic knowledge of computer use or living with a relative who has this knowledge; they had completed adjuvant therapy except for hormone therapy and not have a history of cancer recurrence; and they have an interest in improving lifestyle. Participants will be randomized into e-CUIDATE or usual care groups. E-CUIDATE give participants access to a range of contents: planning exercise arranged in series with breathing exercises, mobility, strength, and stretching. All of these exercises will be assigned to women in the telerehabilitation group according to perceived needs. The control group will be asked to maintain their usual routine. Study endpoints will be assessed after 8 weeks (immediate effects) and after 6 months. The primary outcome will be QoL measured by The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 version 3.0 and breast module called The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Breast Cancer-Specific Quality of Life questionnaire. The secondary outcomes: pain (algometry, Visual Analogue Scale, Brief Pain Inventory short form); body composition; physical measurement (abdominal test, handgrip strength, back muscle strength, and multiple sit-to-stand test); cardiorespiratory fitness (International Fitness Scale, 6-minute walk test, International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form); fatigue (Piper Fatigue Scale and Borg Fatigue Scale); anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale); cognitive function (Trail Making Test and Auditory Consonant Trigram); accelerometry; lymphedema; and anthropometric perimeters.
Discussion
This study investigates the feasibility and effectiveness of a telerehabilitation system during adjuvant treatment of patients with breast cancer. If this treatment option is effective, telehealth systems could offer a choice of supportive care to cancer patients during the survivorship phase.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01801527
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-187
PMCID: PMC3704734  PMID: 23799886
Breast; Neoplasm; Telerehabilitation; Exercise
4.  Who Will Drop Out & Who Will Drop In, Exercise Adherence in a RCT among Patients Receiving Active Cancer Treatment 
Cancer Nursing  2012;35(4):312-322.
Background
Adherence has significantly affected the efficacy of a randomized clinical trial (RCT) to test exercise interventions.
Objective
To analyze exercise-related adherence patterns among patients receiving active cancer treatment and to identify factors related to exercise adherence and contamination in both the intervention and control groups.
Methods
This is a secondary analysis of data from a RCT of a home-based walking intervention for patients receiving active cancer treatment. Hierarchical Poisson regression analysis was used to identify factors related to exercise adherence and exercise contamination in the exercise intervention and control groups.
Results
A total of 126 patients finished the study. Exercise adherence rate in the intervention group was 32.35%, while exercise contamination rate in the control group was 12.07%. Independent predictors of adherence for the exercise group were baseline physical fitness, pre-treatment fatigue level, treatment-related mood disturbance, and marital status (p < 0.01); past exercise history significantly predicted exercise contamination (p < 0.00) in the control group.
Conclusions
Adherence remains an issue in an exercise RCT among patients on active cancer treatment. Adherence is related to symptom, physical function, and exercise history.
Implications for Practice
Exercise researchers should consider stratifying samples based on pre-treatment variables found to be significantly associated with outcome variables in this study to reduce confounding effects. Oncology clinicians can use the study findings to appropriately tailor strategies to encourage exercise adherence among patients receiving active cancer treatment so that these patients can receive the known benefits of exercise.
doi:10.1097/NCC.0b013e318236a3b3
PMCID: PMC3326216  PMID: 22228393
Exercise; adherence; cancer; treatment; randomized clinical trial
5.  Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/mas/mas_ohtas_mn.html.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients With Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty_member_giacomini.htm.
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website: http://www.path-hta.ca/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx.
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website: http://theta.utoronto.ca/static/contact.
Objective
The objective of this health technology assessment was to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of noninvasive ventilation for stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Noninvasive ventilation is used for COPD patients with chronic respiratory failure. Chronic respiratory failure in COPD patients may be due to the inability of the pulmonary system to coordinate ventilation, leading to adverse arterial levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Noninvasive ventilation in stable COPD patients has the potential to improve quality of life, prolong survival, and improve gas exchange and sleep quality in patients who are symptomatic after optimal therapy, have hypercapnia or nocturnal hypoventilation and mild hypercapnia, and are frequently hospitalized.
Technology
Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) is any form of positive ventilatory support without the use of an endotracheal tube. For stable COPD, the standard of care when using noninvasive ventilation is bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP). Bilevel positive airway pressure involves both inspiratory and expiratory pressure, high during inspiration and lower during expiration. It acts as a pressure support to accentuate a patient’s inspiratory efforts. The gradient between pressures maintains alveolar ventilation and helps to reduce carbon dioxide levels. Outpatients typically use BiPAP at night. Additional advantages of using BiPAP include resting of respiratory muscles, decreased work of breathing, and control of obstructive hypopnea.
Research Question
What is the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of noninvasive ventilation, compared with no ventilation while receiving usual care, for stable COPD patients?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on December 3, 2010, using OVID MEDLINE, OVID MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, OVID EMBASE, EBSCO Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Wiley Cochrane Library, and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination database for studies published from January 1, 2004 to December 3, 2010. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. When the reviewer was unsure of the eligibility of articles, a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists reviewed these until consensus was reached.
Inclusion Criteria
full-text English language articles,
studies published between January 1, 2004 and December 3, 2010,
journal articles that report on the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of noninvasive ventilation,
clearly described study design and methods, and
health technology assessments, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
Exclusion Criteria
non-English papers
animal or in vitro studies
case reports, case series, or case-case studies
cross-over RCTs
studies on noninvasive negative pressure ventilation (e.g., iron lung)
studies that combine ventilation therapy with other regimens (e.g., daytime NPPV plus exercise or pulmonary rehabilitation)
studies on heliox with NPPV
studies on pulmonary rehabilitation with NPPV
Outcomes of Interest
mortality/survival
hospitalizations/readmissions
length of stay in hospital
forced expiratory volume
arterial partial pressure of oxygen
arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide
dyspnea
exercise tolerance
health-related quality of life
Note: arterial pressure of oxygen and carbon dioxide are surrogate outcomes.
Statistical Methods
A meta-analysis and an analysis of individual studies were performed using Review Manager Version 5. For continuous data, a mean difference was calculated, and for dichotomous data, a relative risk ratio was calculated for RCTs. For continuous variables with mean baseline and mean follow-up data, a change value was calculated as the difference between the 2 mean values.
Quality of Evidence
The quality of each included study was assessed taking into consideration allocation concealment, randomization, blinding, power/sample size, withdrawals/dropouts, and intention-to-treat analyses.
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
Conclusions
The following conclusions refer to stable, severe COPD patients receiving usual care.
Short-Term Studies
Based on low quality of evidence, there is a beneficial effect of NPPV compared with no ventilation on oxygen gas exchange, carbon dioxide gas exchange, and exercise tolerance measured using the 6 Minute Walking Test.
Based on very low quality of evidence, there is no effect of NPPV therapy on lung function measured as forced expiratory volume in 1 second (Type II error not excluded).
Long-Term Studies
Based on moderate quality of evidence, there is no effect of NPPV therapy for the outcomes of mortality, lung function measured as forced expiratory volume in 1 second, and exercise tolerance measured using the 6 Minute Walking Test.
Based on low quality of evidence, there is no effect of NPPV therapy for the outcomes of oxygen gas exchange and carbon dioxide gas exchange (Type II error not excluded).
Qualitative Assessment
Based on low quality of evidence, there is a beneficial effect of NPPV compared with no ventilation for dyspnea based on reduced Borg score or Medical Research Council dyspnea score.
Based on moderate quality of evidence, there is no effect of NPPV therapy for hospitalizations.
Health-related quality of life could not be evaluated.
PMCID: PMC3384378  PMID: 23074437
6.  The effect of tai chi exercise on quality of life in hemodialysis patients 
Background:
Today, despite remarkable advances in the care of hemodialysis patients, the quality of life (QOL) for these patients is still unsatisfactory. Although previous reports confirmed the effect of exercise on the well-being of renal patients, less than 50% of end-stage kidney patients participate in a regular sports program. Tai chi is a slow and gentle exercise that is suitable for people with chronic illnesses and those with severe intolerance of exercise. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the effect of tai chi exercise on the QOL of hemodialysis patients.
Materials and Methods:
This was a quasi-experimental study conducted in a single group and in two steps. Twenty-five hemodialysis patients, admitted to hospitals in Isfahan, Iran, were selected, and their QOL was compared before and after intervention in two domains of satisfaction and importance. Convenience sampling was used. The sampling was convenience. The subjects were trained in the intervention through a single session of tai chi exercise class for one hour weekly, for 12 weeks, with a training compact disc (CD) that helped the patients to exercise at least twice a week at home. Data were collected by the completion of a demographic characteristics form and a researcher-made QOL questionnaire adopted from Ferrans and Powers Quality of Life Index Dialysis Version and the Kidney Disease Quality of Life-Short Form (KDQOL-SF) questionnaire by the researchers. The data were analyzed by a paired t-test through SPSS software version 18.
Results:
Data analysis showed that there was a statistically significant difference in health and functioning (P < 0.001), socioeconomic (P < 0.001), and psychospiritual (P < 0.001) dimensions, and the family dimension had P = 0.002 in the satisfaction domain and P = 0.008 in the importance domain; the total score of quality of life in both domains was P < 0.001.
Conclusions:
According to the research findings, tai chi exercise improves the QOL score significantly in all dimensions, and adding tai chi classes to the rehabilitation program of hemodialysis patients can have a positive effect including an improved QOL for them. Therefore, this study supports the results of other research studies that showed positive effects of tai chi on QOL.
PMCID: PMC4020024  PMID: 24834084
End-stage renal diseases; hemodialysis; Iran; quality of life; tai chi
7.  Supervised physical exercise to improve the quality of life of cancer patients: the EFICANCER randomised controlled trial 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:40.
Background
The optimal form of exercise for individuals with cancer has yet to be identified, but there is evidence that exercise improves their quality of life. The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy and efficiency of an innovative physical exercise programme, for individuals undergoing chemotherapy for breast, gastrointestinal or non-small cell lung tumours, for improving quality of life, reducing level of fatigue, and enhancing functional capacity over time.
Design/Methods
We will conduct a clinical trial in 66 patients with stage IV breast, gastrointestinal or non-small cell lung cancer, recruited by the Department of Oncology of the referral hospital from 4 primary care health centres of the Basque Health Service (Osakidetza). These patients will be randomised to one of two groups. The treatment common to both groups will be the usual care for cancer: optimized usual drug therapies and strengthening of self-care; in addition, patients in the intervention group will participate in a 2-month exercise programme, including both aerobic and strength exercises, supervised by nurses in their health centre. The principal outcome variable is health-related quality of life, measured blindly with the 30-item European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Core Quality of Life Questionnaire and Short Form-36 four times: at baseline, and 2, 6 and 12 months later. The secondary outcome variables are fatigue (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue questionnaire), functional capacity (6-Minute Walk Test and cardiorespiratory test), muscle strength (hand-held dynamometry and sit-to-stand test), radiological response to treatment (Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors) and progression-free and overall survival. Age, sex, diagnosis, chemotherapy regimen, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status and smoking status will be considered as predictive variables. Data will be analysed on an intention-to-treat basis, comparing changes at each time point between groups, adjusting for baseline values by analysis of covariance.
Discussion
As well as achieving the objectives set, this study will provide us with information on patient perception of the care received and an opportunity to develop a project based on collaborative action between the primary care and oncology professionals.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01786122 Registration date: 02/05/2013.
doi:10.1186/s12885-015-1055-x
PMCID: PMC4327975  PMID: 25655792
Breast cancer; Colorectal cancer; Lung cancer; Metastasis; Physical exercise; Quality of life
8.  Health-related quality of life in breast cancer patients: A bibliographic review of the literature from 1974 to 2007 
Background
Quality of life in patients with breast cancer is an important outcome. This paper presents an extensive overview on the topic ranging from descriptive findings to clinical trials.
Methods
This was a bibliographic review of the literature covering all full publications that appeared in English language biomedical journals between 1974 and 2007. The search strategy included a combination of key words 'quality of life' and 'breast cancer' or 'breast carcinoma' in titles. A total of 971 citations were identified and after exclusion of duplicates, the abstracts of 606 citations were reviewed. Of these, meetings abstracts, editorials, brief commentaries, letters, errata and dissertation abstracts and papers that appeared online and were indexed ahead of publication were also excluded. The remaining 477 papers were examined. The major findings are summarized and presented under several headings: instruments used, validation studies, measurement issues, surgical treatment, systemic therapies, quality of life as predictor of survival, psychological distress, supportive care, symptoms and sexual functioning.
Results
Instruments-Several valid instruments were used to measure quality of life in breast cancer patients. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and its breast cancer specific complementary measure (EORTC QLQ-BR23) and the Functional Assessment Chronic Illness Therapy General questionnaire (FACIT-G) and its breast cancer module (FACIT-B) were found to be the most common and well developed instruments to measure quality of life in breast cancer patients. Surgery-different surgical procedures led to relatively similar results in terms of quality of life assessments, although mastectomy patients compared to conserving surgery patients usually reported a lower body image and sexual functioning. Systemic therapies-almost all studies indicated that breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy might experience several side-effects and symptoms that negatively affect their quality of life. Adjuvant hormonal therapies also were found to have similar negative impact on quality of life, although in general they were associated with improved survival. Quality of life as predictor of survival-similar to known medical factors, quality of life data in metastatic breast cancer patients was found to be prognostic and predictive of survival time. Psychological distress-anxiety and depression were found to be common among breast cancer patients even years after the disease diagnosis and treatment. Psychological factors also were found to predict subsequent quality of life or even overall survival in breast cancer patients. Supportive care-clinical treatments to control emesis, or interventions such as counseling, providing social support and exercise could improve quality of life. Symptoms-Pain, fatigue, arm morbidity and postmenopausal symptoms were among the most common symptoms reported by breast cancer patients. As recommended, recognition and management of these symptoms is an important issue since such symptoms impair health-related quality of life. Sexual functioning-breast cancer patients especially younger patients suffer from poor sexual functioning that negatively affect quality of life.
Conclusion
There was quite an extensive body of the literature on quality of life in breast cancer patients. These papers have made a considerable contribution to improving breast cancer care, although their exact benefit was hard to define. However, quality of life data provided scientific evidence for clinical decision-making and conveyed helpful information concerning breast cancer patients' experiences during the course of the disease diagnosis, treatment, disease-free survival time, and recurrences; otherwise finding patient-centered solutions for evidence-based selection of optimal treatments, psychosocial interventions, patient-physician communications, allocation of resources, and indicating research priorities were impossible. It seems that more qualitative research is needed for a better understanding of the topic. In addition, issues related to the disease, its treatment side effects and symptoms, and sexual functioning should receive more attention when studying quality of life in breast cancer patients.
doi:10.1186/1756-9966-27-32
PMCID: PMC2543010  PMID: 18759983
9.  Effects of a Supervised Exercise Intervention on Recovery From Treatment Regimens in Breast Cancer Survivors 
Oncology Nursing Forum  2008;35(6):909-915.
Purpose/Objectives
To investigate the effects of supervised exercise training on cardiopulmonary function and fatigue in cancer survivors undergoing various clinical treatments.
Design
Pretest and post-test quasiexperimental.
Setting
Outpatient oncology rehabilitation center.
Sample
96 breast cancer survivors undergoing various clinical treatments.
Methods
Subjects were divided into four groups based on the specific type of clinical treatment: surgery alone (n = 22); surgery and chemotherapy (n = 30); surgery and radiation (n = 17); and surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation (n = 27). Following a comprehensive screening and medical examination, cardiovascular endurance, pulmonary function, and fatigue were assessed, leading to the development of an individualized exercise prescription and a six-month exercise intervention. Repeated-measures analysis of variance and covariance were used to compare the effectiveness of the intervention and differences among treatment groups.
Main Research Variables
Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, resting heart rate, forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, predicted oxygen consumption, time on treadmill, and fatigue.
Findings
Cardiopulmonary function (predicted maximal oxygen consumption and time on treadmill) significantly increased in all groups after exercise training. In addition, resting heart rate and forced vital capacity significantly improved in those receiving surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Psychologically, the exercise intervention resulted in significant reductions in behavioral, affective, sensory, cognitive and mood, and total fatigue scale scores in all three groups who received treatment with surgery. The breast cancer survivors in the surgery-alone group showed significant reductions in behavioral, affective, and total fatigue scale scores but not in sensory and cognitive and mood fatigue scale scores.
Conclusions
The results suggest that moderate intensity, individualized, prescriptive exercise maintains or improves cardiopulmonary function with concomitant reductions in fatigue regardless of treatment type. Moreover, cancer survivors receiving combination chemotherapy and radiotherapy following surgery appear to benefit to a greater extent as a result of an individualized exercise intervention.
Implications for Nursing
Clinicians need to be aware of adjuvant therapies such as moderate exercise that attenuate negative side effects of cancer treatments. Symptom management recommendations should be given to cancer survivors concerning the effectiveness of exercise throughout the cancer continuum and the importance of participating in a cancer rehabilitation exercise program.
doi:10.1188/08.ONF.909-915
PMCID: PMC3040031  PMID: 18980921
10.  Randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effects of combined progressive exercise on metabolic syndrome in breast cancer survivors: rationale, design, and methods 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:238.
Background
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is increasingly present in breast cancer survivors, possibly worsened by cancer-related treatments, such as chemotherapy. MetS greatly increases risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, co-morbidities that could impair the survivorship experience, and possibly lead to cancer recurrence. Exercise has been shown to positively influence quality of life (QOL), physical function, muscular strength and endurance, reduce fatigue, and improve emotional well-being; however, the impact on MetS components (visceral adiposity, hyperglycemia, low serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, hypertriglyceridemia, and hypertension) remains largely unknown. In this trial, we aim to assess the effects of combined (aerobic and resistance) exercise on components of MetS, as well as on physical fitness and QOL, in breast cancer survivors soon after completing cancer-related treatments.
Methods/Design
This study is a prospective randomized controlled trial (RCT) investigating the effects of a 16-week supervised progressive aerobic and resistance exercise training intervention on MetS in 100 breast cancer survivors. Main inclusion criteria are histologically-confirmed breast cancer stage I-III, completion of chemotherapy and/or radiation within 6 months prior to initiation of the study, sedentary, and free from musculoskeletal disorders. The primary endpoint is MetS; secondary endpoints include: muscle strength, shoulder function, cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, bone mineral density, and QOL. Participants randomized to the Exercise group participate in 3 supervised weekly exercise sessions for 16 weeks. Participants randomized to the Control group are offered the same intervention after the 16-week period of observation.
Discussion
This is the one of few RCTs examining the effects of exercise on MetS in breast cancer survivors. Results will contribute a better understanding of metabolic disease-related effects of resistance and aerobic exercise training and inform intervention programs that will optimally improve physiological and psychosocial health during cancer survivorship, and that are ultimately aimed at improving prognosis.
Trial registration
NCT01140282; Registration: June 10, 2010
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-238
PMCID: PMC3985576  PMID: 24708832
Exercise; Breast cancer; Metabolic syndrome
11.  Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions to Promote Physical Activity: A Modelling Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(7):e1000110.
Linda Cobiac and colleagues model the costs and health outcomes associated with interventions to improve physical activity in the population, and identify specific interventions that are likely to be cost-saving.
Background
Physical inactivity is a key risk factor for chronic disease, but a growing number of people are not achieving the recommended levels of physical activity necessary for good health. Australians are no exception; despite Australia's image as a sporting nation, with success at the elite level, the majority of Australians do not get enough physical activity. There are many options for intervention, from individually tailored advice, such as counselling from a general practitioner, to population-wide approaches, such as mass media campaigns, but the most cost-effective mix of interventions is unknown. In this study we evaluate the cost-effectiveness of interventions to promote physical activity.
Methods and Findings
From evidence of intervention efficacy in the physical activity literature and evaluation of the health sector costs of intervention and disease treatment, we model the cost impacts and health outcomes of six physical activity interventions, over the lifetime of the Australian population. We then determine cost-effectiveness of each intervention against current practice for physical activity intervention in Australia and derive the optimal pathway for implementation. Based on current evidence of intervention effectiveness, the intervention programs that encourage use of pedometers (Dominant) and mass media-based community campaigns (Dominant) are the most cost-effective strategies to implement and are very likely to be cost-saving. The internet-based intervention program (AUS$3,000/DALY), the GP physical activity prescription program (AUS$12,000/DALY), and the program to encourage more active transport (AUS$20,000/DALY), although less likely to be cost-saving, have a high probability of being under a AUS$50,000 per DALY threshold. GP referral to an exercise physiologist (AUS$79,000/DALY) is the least cost-effective option if high time and travel costs for patients in screening and consulting an exercise physiologist are considered.
Conclusions
Intervention to promote physical activity is recommended as a public health measure. Despite substantial variability in the quantity and quality of evidence on intervention effectiveness, and uncertainty about the long-term sustainability of behavioural changes, it is highly likely that as a package, all six interventions could lead to substantial improvement in population health at a cost saving to the health sector.
Please see later in the article for Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The human body needs regular physical activity throughout life to stay healthy. Physical activity—any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that uses energy—helps to maintain a healthy body weight and to prevent or delay heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and breast cancer. In addition, physically active people feel better and live longer than physically inactive people. For an adult, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity—walking briskly, gardening, swimming, or cycling—at least five times a week is sufficient to promote and maintain health. But at least 60% of the world's population does not do even this modest amount of physical activity. The daily lives of people in both developed and developing countries are becoming increasingly sedentary. People are sitting at desks all day instead of doing manual labor; they are driving to work in cars instead of walking or cycling; and they are participating less in physical activities during their leisure time.
Why Was This Study Done?
In many countries, the chronic diseases that are associated with physical inactivity are now a major public-health problem; globally, physical inactivity causes 1.9 million deaths per year. Clearly, something has to be done about this situation. Luckily, there is no shortage of interventions designed to promote physical activity, ranging from individual counseling from general practitioners to mass-media campaigns. But which intervention or package of interventions will produce the optimal population health benefits relative to cost? Although some studies have examined the cost-effectiveness of individual interventions, different settings for analysis and use of different methods and assumptions make it difficult to compare results and identify which intervention approaches should be give priority by policy makers. Furthermore, little is known about the cost-effectiveness of packages of interventions. In this study, the researchers investigate the cost-effectiveness in Australia (where physical inactivity contributes to 10% of deaths) of a package of interventions designed to promote physical activity in adults using a standardized approach (ACE-Prevention) to the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of health-care interventions.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers selected six interventions for their study: general practitioner “prescription” of physical activity; general practitioner referral to an exercise physiologist; a mass-media campaign to promote physical activity; the TravelSmart car use reduction program; a campaign to encourage the use of pedometers to increase physical activity; and an internet-based program. Using published data on the effects of physical activity on the amount of illness and death caused by breast and colon cancer, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes and on the effectiveness of each intervention, the researchers calculated the health outcomes of each intervention in disability-adjusted life years (DALY; a year of healthy life lost because of premature death or disability) averted over the lifetime of the Australian population. They also calculated the costs associated with each intervention offset by the costs associated with the five conditions listed above. These analyses showed that the pedometer program and the mass-media campaign were likely to be the most cost-effective interventions. These interventions were also most likely to be cost-saving. Referral to an exercise physiologist was the least cost-effective intervention. The other three interventions, though unlikely to be cost-saving, were likely to be cost-effective. Finally, a package of all six interventions would be cost-effective and would avert 61,000 DALYs, a third of what could be achieved if every Australian did 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week.
What Do These Findings Mean?
As in all modeling studies, these findings depend on the quality of the data and on the assumptions included by the researchers in their calculations. Unfortunately, there was substantial variability in the quantity and quality of evidence on the effectiveness of each intervention and uncertainty about the long-term effects of each intervention. Nevertheless, the findings presented in this study suggest that the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of a combination of interventions designed to promote physical activity might provide policy makers with some guidance about the best way to reduce the burden of disease caused by physical inactivity. More specifically, for Australia, these findings suggest that the package of the six interventions considered here is likely to provide a cost-effective way to substantially improve the health of the nation.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000110.
The World Health Organization provides information about physical activity and health (in several languages); it also provides an explanation of DALYs
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on physical activity for different age groups and for health professionals
The UK National Health Service information source Choices also explains the benefits of regular physical activity
MedlinePlus has links to other resources about exercise and physical fitness (in English and Spanish)
The University of Queensland Web site has more information on ACE-Prevention (Assessing Cost-Effectiveness Prevention)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000110
PMCID: PMC2700960  PMID: 19597537
12.  Exercise Protocol for the Treatment of Rotator Cuff Impingement Syndrome 
Journal of Athletic Training  2010;45(5):483-485.
Abstract
Reference/Citation:
Kuhn JE. Exercise in the treatment of rotator cuff impingement: a systematic review and a synthesized evidence-based rehabilitation protocol. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2009;18(1):138–160.
Clinical Question:
What is the role of exercise in the treatment of rotator cuff impingement syndrome (RCIS), and what evidence-based exercises can be synthesized into a criterion-standard exercise rehabilitation protocol?
Data Sources:
Investigations were identified by PubMed, Ovid, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, American College of Physicians Journal Club, and Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects. The search terms included shoulder, impingement, rotator cuff, rehabilitation, physical therapy, physiotherapy, and exercise. Additional searches were performed with bibliographies of retrieved studies.
Study Selection:
To qualify for inclusion, studies had to be level 1 or level 2 (randomized controlled trials); had to compare rehabilitation interventions, such as exercise or manual therapy, with other treatments or placebo; had to include validated outcome measures of pain, function, or disability; and had to be limited to individuals with diagnosed impingement syndrome. Impingement syndrome was determined by a positive impingement sign per Neer or Hawkins criteria, or both. Articles were excluded if they addressed other shoulder conditions (eg, calcific tendinosis, full-thickness rotator cuff tears, adhesive capsulitis, osteoarthritis), addressed postoperative management, were retrospective studies or case series, or used other outcome measures.
Data Extraction:
An evidence-based journal club of 9 faculty members and fellows reviewed the articles and extracted and tabulated the data. Individual outcomes for pain, range of motion (ROM), strength, and function were organized. Intragroup and between-groups outcomes were assessed for the effectiveness of treatment, and statistical outcomes were recorded when available. Clinical importance was determined when statistical value was P < .05 and the effect size or difference between treatments was 20% or more. Sixa major categories were created to organize the components of the physical therapy programs used in each study: ROM, flexibility and stretching, strengthening techniques, therapist-driven manual therapy, modalities, and schedule. Components from these categories were used to create a synthesized physical therapy program.
Main Results:
The searches identified 80 studies, of which 11 met the inclusion criteria. In 5 studies, the diagnosis of RCIS was confirmed using an impingement test consisting of lidocaine injected into the subacromial space and elimination of pain with the impingement sign. Randomization methods were used in 6 studies, and blinded, independent examiners were involved in follow-up data collection in only 3 studies. Validated outcome measures were used in all studies. Follow-up was very good in 10 studies and was less than 90% in only 1 study. The specific exercise programs varied among studies. However, general treatment principles were identified among the different studies and included frequency, ROM, stretching or flexibility, strengthening, manual therapy (joint and/or soft tissue mobilizations), modalities, and others.
The findings indicated that exercise improves outcomes of pain, strength, ROM impairments, and function in patients with impingement syndrome. In 10 studies, investigators reported improvements in pain with supervised exercise, home exercise, exercise associated with manual therapy, and exercise after subacromial decompression. Of the 6 studies in which researchers compared pre-exercise pain with postexercise pain, 5 demonstrated that exercise produced statistically significant and clinically important reductions in pain. Two studies demonstrated improvements in pain when comparing exercise and control groups. In 1 study, investigators evaluated bracing without exercise and found no difference in pain between the brace and exercise groups. Investigators evaluated exercise combined with manual therapy in 3 studies and demonstrated improvement in pain relief in each study and improvement in strength in 1 study. In most studies, exercise also was shown to improve function. The improvement in function was statistically significant in 4 studies and clinically meaningful in 2 of these studies. In 2 studies, researchers compared supervised exercise with a home exercise program and found that function improved in both groups but was not different between groups. This finding might have resulted from a type II statistical error. In 4 studies, researchers did not find differences between acromioplasty with exercise and exercise alone for pain alone or for outcomes of pain and function.
Conclusions:
Findings indicated that exercise is beneficial for reducing pain and improving function in individuals with RCIS. The effects of exercise might be augmented with implementation of manual therapy. In addition, supervised exercise might not be more effective than a home exercise program. Many articles had methodologic concerns and provided limited descriptions of specific exercises, which made comparing types of exercise among studies difficult. Based on the results, Kuhn generated a physical therapy protocol using evidence-based exercise that could be used by clinicians treating individuals with impingement syndrome. This evidence-based protocol can serve as the criterion standard to reduce variables in future cohort and comparative studies to help find better treatments for patients with this disorder.
doi:10.4085/1062-6050-45.5.483
PMCID: PMC2938321  PMID: 20831395
function; subacromial impingement; rehabilitation
13.  At cancer diagnosis: a ‘window of opportunity’ for behavioural change towards physical activity. A randomised feasibility study in patients with colon and breast cancer 
BMJ Open  2013;3(11):e003556.
Introduction
Challenges exist in identifying, recruiting and motivating sedentary patients with cancer to initiate physical activity towards recommended levels. We hypothesise that the onset period of adjuvant chemotherapy can be ‘the open window of opportunity’ to identify and motivate sedentary patients with breast and colon cancers, at risk for developing coronary heart disease, to initiate and sustain lifestyle changes.
Aims
To investigate the feasibility of oncologists/nurses screening for physical inactivity, in order to identify and recruit an at-risk population of sedentary patients with breast or colon cancer at the onset of adjuvant chemotherapy. Furthermore, the study will examine the adherence to one of two multimodal exercise interventions lasting 12 weeks; (1) hospital-based, high intensity, group exercise intervention (2) home-based, low intensity, individual, pedometer intervention. Both arms will be compared with a control group.
Methods and analyses
All newly referred patients will be screened for sedentary behaviour, using national recommendations. Testing at baseline, 6, 12 and 39 weeks will include; (1) physiological testing (VO2-peak, one repetition maximum muscle strength and lung function (2) fasting full body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan (3) fasting blood glucose, insulin, lipids and cholesterols, (4) psychometric questionnaires (general well-being, quality of life, anxiety and depression, motivational readiness). The randomised controlled trial feasibility design is selected in order to examine barriers for recruitment, programme adherence, safety aspects and potential efficacy to the interventions during adjuvant chemotherapy.
Ethics and dissemination
The Scientific Committee of the Capital Region (case No. H-1-2011-131) and the Danish Data Protection Agency (j. No. 2011-41-6349) approved the study. Data will be entered and locked into a database hosted by the Copenhagen Trial Unit, Rigshosptialet. Data will be available for analyses to project members and the trial statistician after the 45 included patients have completed the 12-week test. Results will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN24901641.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003556
PMCID: PMC3822303  PMID: 24189081
ONCOLOGY; CHEMOTHERAPY; CLINICAL PHYSIOLOGY; SPORTS MEDICINE
14.  Benefits of supervised group exercise programme for women being treated for early stage breast cancer: pragmatic randomised controlled trial 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2007;334(7592):517.
Objectives To determine functional and psychological benefits of a 12 week supervised group exercise programme during treatment for early stage breast cancer, with six month follow-up.
Design Pragmatic randomised controlled prospective open trial.
Setting Three National Health Service oncology clinics in Scotland and community exercise facilities.
Participants 203 women entered the study; 177 completed the six month follow-up.
Interventions Supervised 12 week group exercise programme in addition to usual care, compared with usual care.
Main outcome measures Functional assessment of cancer therapy (FACT) questionnaire, Beck depression inventory, positive and negative affect scale, body mass index, seven day recall of physical activity, 12 minute walk test, and assessment of shoulder mobility.
Results Mixed effects models with adjustment for baseline values, study site, treatment at baseline, and age gave intervention effect estimates (intervention minus control) at 12 weeks of 129 (95% confidence interval 83 to 176) for metres walked in 12 minutes, 182 (75 to 289) for minutes of moderate intensity activity reported in a week, 2.6 (1.6 to 3.7) for shoulder mobility, 2.5 (1.0 to 3.9) for breast cancer specific subscale of quality of life, and 4.0 (1.8 to 6.3) for positive mood. No significant effect was seen for general quality of life (FACT-G), which was the primary outcome. At the six month follow-up, most of these effects were maintained and an intervention effect for breast cancer specific quality of life emerged. No adverse effects were noted.
Conclusion Supervised group exercise provided functional and psychological benefit after a 12 week intervention and six months later. Clinicians should encourage activity for their patients. Policy makers should consider the inclusion of exercise opportunities in cancer rehabilitation services.
Trial registration Current controlled trials ISRCTN12587864.
doi:10.1136/bmj.39094.648553.AE
PMCID: PMC1819494  PMID: 17307761
15.  Caregiver- and Patient-Directed Interventions for Dementia 
Executive Summary
In early August 2007, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Aging in the Community project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding healthy aging in the community. The Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the ministry’s newly released Aging at Home Strategy.
After a broad literature review and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified 4 key areas that strongly predict an elderly person’s transition from independent community living to a long-term care home. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these 4 areas: falls and fall-related injuries, urinary incontinence, dementia, and social isolation. For the first area, falls and fall-related injuries, an economic model is described in a separate report.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html, to review these titles within the Aging in the Community series.
Aging in the Community: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Prevention of Falls and Fall-Related Injuries in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Caregiver- and Patient-Directed Interventions for Dementia: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Social Isolation in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
The Falls/Fractures Economic Model in Ontario Residents Aged 65 Years and Over (FEMOR)
This report features the evidence-based analysis on caregiver- and patient-directed interventions for dementia and is broken down into 4 sections:
Introduction
Caregiver-Directed Interventions for Dementia
Patient-Directed Interventions for Dementia
Economic Analysis of Caregiver- and Patient-Directed Interventions for Dementia
Caregiver-Directed Interventions for Dementia
Objective
To identify interventions that may be effective in supporting the well-being of unpaid caregivers of seniors with dementia living in the community.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Dementia is a progressive and largely irreversible syndrome that is characterized by a loss of cognitive function severe enough to impact social or occupational functioning. The components of cognitive function affected include memory and learning, attention, concentration and orientation, problem-solving, calculation, language, and geographic orientation. Dementia was identified as one of the key predictors in a senior’s transition from independent community living to admission to a long-term care (LTC) home, in that approximately 90% of individuals diagnosed with dementia will be institutionalized before death. In addition, cognitive decline linked to dementia is one of the most commonly cited reasons for institutionalization.
Prevalence estimates of dementia in the Ontario population have largely been extrapolated from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging conducted in 1991. Based on these estimates, it is projected that there will be approximately 165,000 dementia cases in Ontario in the year 2008, and by 2010 the number of cases will increase by nearly 17% over 2005 levels. By 2020 the number of cases is expected to increase by nearly 55%, due to a rise in the number of people in the age categories with the highest prevalence (85+). With the increase in the aging population, dementia will continue to have a significant economic impact on the Canadian health care system. In 1991, the total costs associated with dementia in Canada were $3.9 billion (Cdn) with $2.18 billion coming from LTC.
Caregivers play a crucial role in the management of individuals with dementia because of the high level of dependency and morbidity associated with the condition. It has been documented that a greater demand is faced by dementia caregivers compared with caregivers of persons with other chronic diseases. The increased burden of caregiving contributes to a host of chronic health problems seen among many informal caregivers of persons with dementia. Much of this burden results from managing the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), which have been established as a predictor of institutionalization for elderly patients with dementia.
It is recognized that for some patients with dementia, an LTC facility can provide the most appropriate care; however, many patients move into LTC unnecessarily. For individuals with dementia to remain in the community longer, caregivers require many types of formal and informal support services to alleviate the stress of caregiving. These include both respite care and psychosocial interventions. Psychosocial interventions encompass a broad range of interventions such as psychoeducational interventions, counseling, supportive therapy, and behavioural interventions.
Assuming that 50% of persons with dementia live in the community, a conservative estimate of the number of informal caregivers in Ontario is 82,500. Accounting for the fact that 29% of people with dementia live alone, this leaves a remaining estimate of 58,575 Ontarians providing care for a person with dementia with whom they reside.
Description of Interventions
The 2 main categories of caregiver-directed interventions examined in this review are respite care and psychosocial interventions. Respite care is defined as a break or relief for the caregiver. In most cases, respite is provided in the home, through day programs, or at institutions (usually 30 days or less). Depending on a caregiver’s needs, respite services will vary in delivery and duration. Respite care is carried out by a variety of individuals, including paid staff, volunteers, family, or friends.
Psychosocial interventions encompass a broad range of interventions and have been classified in various ways in the literature. This review will examine educational, behavioural, dementia-specific, supportive, and coping interventions. The analysis focuses on behavioural interventions, that is, those designed to help the caregiver manage BPSD. As described earlier, BPSD are one of the most challenging aspects of caring for a senior with dementia, causing an increase in caregiver burden. The analysis also examines multicomponent interventions, which include at least 2 of the above-mentioned interventions.
Methods of Evidence-Based Analysis
A comprehensive search strategy was used to identify systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the effectiveness of interventions for caregivers of dementia patients.
Questions
Section 2.1
Are respite care services effective in supporting the well-being of unpaid caregivers of seniors with dementia in the community?
Do respite care services impact on rates of institutionalization of these seniors?
Section 2.2
Which psychosocial interventions are effective in supporting the well-being of unpaid caregivers of seniors with dementia in the community?
Which interventions reduce the risk for institutionalization of seniors with dementia?
Outcomes of Interest
any quantitative measure of caregiver psychological health, including caregiver burden, depression, quality of life, well-being, strain, mastery (taking control of one’s situation), reactivity to behaviour problems, etc.;
rate of institutionalization; and
cost-effectiveness.
Assessment of Quality of Evidence
The quality of the evidence was assessed as High, Moderate, Low, or Very low according to the GRADE methodology and GRADE Working Group. As per GRADE the following definitions apply:
Summary of Findings
Conclusions in Table 1 are drawn from Sections 2.1 and 2.2 of the report.
Summary of Conclusions on Caregiver-Directed Interventions
There is limited evidence from RCTs that respite care is effective in improving outcomes for those caring for seniors with dementia.
There is considerable qualitative evidence of the perceived benefits of respite care.
Respite care is known as one of the key formal support services for alleviating caregiver burden in those caring for dementia patients.
Respite care services need to be tailored to individual caregiver needs as there are vast differences among caregivers and patients with dementia (severity, type of dementia, amount of informal/formal support available, housing situation, etc.)
There is moderate- to high-quality evidence that individual behavioural interventions (≥ 6 sessions), directed towards the caregiver (or combined with the patient) are effective in improving psychological health in dementia caregivers.
There is moderate- to high-quality evidence that multicomponent interventions improve caregiver psychosocial health and may affect rates of institutionalization of dementia patients.
RCT indicates randomized controlled trial.
Patient-Directed Interventions for Dementia
Objective
The section on patient-directed interventions for dementia is broken down into 4 subsections with the following questions:
3.1 Physical Exercise for Seniors with Dementia – Secondary Prevention
What is the effectiveness of physical exercise for the improvement or maintenance of basic activities of daily living (ADLs), such as eating, bathing, toileting, and functional ability, in seniors with mild to moderate dementia?
3.2 Nonpharmacologic and Nonexercise Interventions to Improve Cognitive Functioning in Seniors With Dementia – Secondary Prevention
What is the effectiveness of nonpharmacologic interventions to improve cognitive functioning in seniors with mild to moderate dementia?
3.3 Physical Exercise for Delaying the Onset of Dementia – Primary Prevention
Can exercise decrease the risk of subsequent cognitive decline/dementia?
3.4 Cognitive Interventions for Delaying the Onset of Dementia – Primary Prevention
Does cognitive training decrease the risk of cognitive impairment, deterioration in the performance of basic ADLs or instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs),1 or incidence of dementia in seniors with good cognitive and physical functioning?
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Secondary Prevention2
Exercise
Physical deterioration is linked to dementia. This is thought to be due to reduced muscle mass leading to decreased activity levels and muscle atrophy, increasing the potential for unsafe mobility while performing basic ADLs such as eating, bathing, toileting, and functional ability.
Improved physical conditioning for seniors with dementia may extend their independent mobility and maintain performance of ADL.
Nonpharmacologic and Nonexercise Interventions
Cognitive impairments, including memory problems, are a defining feature of dementia. These impairments can lead to anxiety, depression, and withdrawal from activities. The impact of these cognitive problems on daily activities increases pressure on caregivers.
Cognitive interventions aim to improve these impairments in people with mild to moderate dementia.
Primary Prevention3
Exercise
Various vascular risk factors have been found to contribute to the development of dementia (e.g., hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, overweight).
Physical exercise is important in promoting overall and vascular health. However, it is unclear whether physical exercise can decrease the risk of cognitive decline/dementia.
Nonpharmacologic and Nonexercise Interventions
Having more years of education (i.e., a higher cognitive reserve) is associated with a lower prevalence of dementia in crossectional population-based studies and a lower incidence of dementia in cohorts followed longitudinally. However, it is unclear whether cognitive training can increase cognitive reserve or decrease the risk of cognitive impairment, prevent or delay deterioration in the performance of ADLs or IADLs or reduce the incidence of dementia.
Description of Interventions
Physical exercise and nonpharmacologic/nonexercise interventions (e.g., cognitive training) for the primary and secondary prevention of dementia are assessed in this review.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
A comprehensive search strategy was used to identify systematic reviews and RCTs that examined the effectiveness, safety and cost effectiveness of exercise and cognitive interventions for the primary and secondary prevention of dementia.
Questions
Section 3.1: What is the effectiveness of physical exercise for the improvement or maintenance of ADLs in seniors with mild to moderate dementia?
Section 3.2: What is the effectiveness of nonpharmacologic/nonexercise interventions to improve cognitive functioning in seniors with mild to moderate dementia?
Section 3.3: Can exercise decrease the risk of subsequent cognitive decline/dementia?
Section 3.4: Does cognitive training decrease the risk of cognitive impairment, prevent or delay deterioration in the performance of ADLs or IADLs, or reduce the incidence of dementia in seniors with good cognitive and physical functioning?
Assessment of Quality of Evidence
The quality of the evidence was assessed as High, Moderate, Low, or Very low according to the GRADE methodology. As per GRADE the following definitions apply:
Summary of Findings
Table 2 summarizes the conclusions from Sections 3.1 through 3.4.
Summary of Conclusions on Patient-Directed Interventions*
Previous systematic review indicated that “cognitive training” is not effective in patients with dementia.
A recent RCT suggests that CST (up to 7 weeks) is effective for improving cognitive function and quality of life in patients with dementia.
Regular leisure time physical activity in midlife is associated with a reduced risk of dementia in later life (mean follow-up 21 years).
Regular physical activity in seniors is associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline (mean follow-up 2 years).
Regular physical activity in seniors is associated with a reduced risk of dementia (mean follow-up 6–7 years).
Evidence that cognitive training for specific functions (memory, reasoning, and speed of processing) produces improvements in these specific domains.
Limited inconclusive evidence that cognitive training can offset deterioration in the performance of self-reported IADL scores and performance assessments.
1° indicates primary; 2°, secondary; CST, cognitive stimulation therapy; IADL, instrumental activities of daily living; RCT, randomized controlled trial.
Benefit/Risk Analysis
As per the GRADE Working Group, the overall recommendations consider 4 main factors:
the trade-offs, taking into account the estimated size of the effect for the main outcome, the confidence limits around those estimates, and the relative value placed on the outcome;
the quality of the evidence;
translation of the evidence into practice in a specific setting, taking into consideration important factors that could be expected to modify the size of the expected effects such as proximity to a hospital or availability of necessary expertise; and
uncertainty about the baseline risk for the population of interest.
The GRADE Working Group also recommends that incremental costs of health care alternatives should be considered explicitly alongside the expected health benefits and harms. Recommendations rely on judgments about the value of the incremental health benefits in relation to the incremental costs. The last column in Table 3 reflects the overall trade-off between benefits and harms (adverse events) and incorporates any risk/uncertainty (cost-effectiveness).
Overall Summary Statement of the Benefit and Risk for Patient-Directed Interventions*
Economic Analysis
Budget Impact Analysis of Effective Interventions for Dementia
Caregiver-directed behavioural techniques and patient-directed exercise programs were found to be effective when assessing mild to moderate dementia outcomes in seniors living in the community. Therefore, an annual budget impact was calculated based on eligible seniors in the community with mild and moderate dementia and their respective caregivers who were willing to participate in interventional home sessions. Table 4 describes the annual budget impact for these interventions.
Annual Budget Impact (2008 Canadian Dollars)
Assumed 7% prevalence of dementia aged 65+ in Ontario.
Assumed 8 weekly sessions plus 4 monthly phone calls.
Assumed 12 weekly sessions plus biweekly sessions thereafter (total of 20).
Assumed 2 sessions per week for first 5 weeks. Assumed 90% of seniors in the community with dementia have mild to moderate disease. Assumed 4.5% of seniors 65+ are in long-term care, and the remainder are in the community. Assumed a rate of participation of 60% for both patients and caregivers and of 41% for patient-directed exercise. Assumed 100% compliance since intervention administered at the home. Cost for trained staff from Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care data source. Assumed cost of personal support worker to be equivalent to in-home support. Cost for recreation therapist from Alberta government Website.
Note: This budget impact analysis was calculated for the first year after introducing the interventions from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care perspective using prevalence data only. Prevalence estimates are for seniors in the community with mild to moderate dementia and their respective caregivers who are willing to participate in an interventional session administered at the home setting. Incidence and mortality rates were not factored in. Current expenditures in the province are unknown and therefore were not included in the analysis. Numbers may change based on population trends, rate of intervention uptake, trends in current programs in place in the province, and assumptions on costs. The number of patients was based on patients likely to access these interventions in Ontario based on assumptions stated below from the literature. An expert panel confirmed resource consumption.
PMCID: PMC3377513  PMID: 23074509
16.  Study protocol to investigate the effect of a lifestyle intervention on body weight, psychological health status and risk factors associated with disease recurrence in women recovering from breast cancer treatment [ISRCTN08045231] 
BMC Cancer  2006;6:35.
Background
Breast cancer survivors often encounter physiological and psychological problems related to their diagnosis and treatment that can influence long-term prognosis. The aim of this research is to investigate the effects of a lifestyle intervention on body weight and psychological well-being in women recovering from breast cancer treatment, and to determine the relationship between changes in these variables and biomarkers associated with disease recurrence and survival.
Methods/design
Following ethical approval, a total of 100 patients will be randomly assigned to a lifestyle intervention (incorporating dietary energy restriction in conjunction with aerobic exercise training) or normal care control group. Patients randomised to the dietary and exercise intervention will be given individualised healthy eating dietary advice and written information and attend moderate intensity aerobic exercise sessions on three to five days per week for a period of 24 weeks. The aim of this strategy is to induce a steady weight loss of up to 0.5 Kg each week. In addition, the overall quality of the diet will be examined with a view to (i) reducing the dietary intake of fat to ~25% of the total calories, (ii) eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, (iii) increasing the intake of fibre and reducing refined carbohydrates, and (iv) taking moderate amounts of alcohol. Outcome measures will include body weight and body composition, psychological health status (stress and depression), cardiorespiratory fitness and quality of life. In addition, biomarkers associated with disease recurrence, including stress hormones, estrogen status, inflammatory markers and indices of innate and adaptive immune function will be monitored.
Discussion
This research will provide valuable information on the effectiveness of a practical, easily implemented lifestyle intervention for evoking positive effects on body weight and psychological well-being, two important factors that can influence long-term prognosis in breast cancer survivors. However, the added value of the study is that it will also evaluate the effects of the lifestyle intervention on a range of biomarkers associated with disease recurrence and survival. Considered together, the results should improve our understanding of the potential role that lifestyle-modifiable factors could play in saving or prolonging lives.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-35
PMCID: PMC1379653  PMID: 16469108
17.  Feasibility of a multidimensional home-based exercise programme for the elderly with structured support given by the general practitioner's surgery: Study protocol of a single arm trial preparing an RCT [ISRCTN58562962] 
BMC Geriatrics  2009;9:37.
Background
Physical activity programmes can help to prevent functional decline in the elderly. Until now, such programmes use to target either on healthy community-dwelling seniors or on elderly living in special residences or care institutions. Sedentary or frail people, however, are difficult to reach when they live in their own homes. The general practitioner's (GP) practice offers a unique opportunity to acquire these people for participation in activity programmes. We conceptualised a multidimensional home-based exercise programme that shall be delivered to the target group through cooperation between GPs and exercise therapists. In order to prepare a randomised controlled trial (RCT), a feasibility study is being conducted.
Methods
The study is designed as a single arm interventional trial. We plan to recruit 90 patients aged 70 years and above through their GPs. The intervention lasts 12 weeks and consists of physical activity counselling, a home-exercise programme, and exercise consultations provided by an exercise therapist in the GP's practice and via telephone. The exercise programme consists of two main components: 1. a combination of home-exercises to improve strength, flexibility and balance, 2. walking for exercise to improve aerobic capacity. Primary outcome measures are: appraisal by GP, undesirable events, drop-outs, adherence. Secondary outcome measures are: effects (a. motor tests: timed-up-and-go, chair rising, grip strength, tandem stand, tandem walk, sit-and-reach; b. telephone interview: PRISCUS-Physical Activity Questionnaire, Short Form-8 Health Survey, three month recall of frequency of falls, Falls Efficacy Scale), appraisal by participant, exercise performance, focus group discussion. Data analyses will focus on: 1. decision-making concerning the conduction of a RCT, 2. estimation of the effects of the programme, detection of shortcomings and identification of subgroups with contrary results, 3. feedback to participants and to GPs.
Conclusion
A new cooperation between GPs and exercise therapists to approach community-dwelling seniors and to deliver a home-exercise programme is object of research with regard to feasibility and acceptance. In case of success, an RCT should examine the effects of the programme. A future implementation within primary medical care may take advantage from the flexibility of the programme.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN58562962.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-9-37
PMCID: PMC2753322  PMID: 19686587
18.  The Effects of Stress on Physical Activity and Exercise 
Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)  2014;44(1):81-121.
Background
Psychological stress and physical activity (PA) are believed to be reciprocally related; however, most research examining the relationship between these constructs is devoted to the study of exercise and/or PA as an instrument to mitigate distress.
Objective
The aim of this paper was to review the literature investigating the influence of stress on indicators of PA and exercise.
Methods
A systematic search of Web of Science, Pub-Med, and SPORTDiscus was employed to find all relevant studies focusing on human participants. Search terms included “stress”, “exercise”, and “physical activity”. A rating scale (0–9) modified for this study was utilized to assess the quality of all studies with multiple time points.
Results
The literature search found 168 studies that examined the influence of stress on PA. Studies varied widely in their theoretical orientation and included perceived stress, distress, life events, job strain, role strain, and work–family conflict but not lifetime cumulative adversity. To more clearly address the question, prospective studies (n = 55) were considered for further review, the majority of which indicated that psychological stress predicts less PA (behavioral inhibition) and/or exercise or more sedentary behavior (76.4 %). Both objective (i.e., life events) and subjective (i.e., distress) measures of stress related to reduced PA. Prospective studies investigating the effects of objective markers of stress nearly all agreed (six of seven studies) that stress has a negative effect on PA. This was true for research examining (a) PA at periods of objectively varying levels of stress (i.e., final examinations vs. a control time point) and (b) chronically stressed populations (e.g., caregivers, parents of children with a cancer diagnosis) that were less likely to be active than controls over time. Studies examining older adults (>50 years), cohorts with both men and women, and larger sample sizes (n > 100) were more likely to show an inverse association. 85.7 % of higher-quality prospective research (≥7 on a 9-point scale) showed the same trend. Interestingly, some prospective studies (18.2 %) report evidence that PA was positively impacted by stress (behavioral activation). This should not be surprising as some individuals utilize exercise to cope with stress. Several other factors may moderate stress and PA relationships, such as stages of change for exercise. Habitually active individuals exercise more in the face of stress, and those in beginning stages exercise less. Consequently, stress may have a differential impact on exercise adoption, maintenance, and relapse. Preliminary evidence suggests that combining stress management programming with exercise interventions may allay stress-related reductions in PA, though rigorous testing of these techniques has yet to be produced.
Conclusions
Overall, the majority of the literature finds that the experience of stress impairs efforts to be physically active. Future work should center on the development of a theory explaining the mechanisms underlying the multifarious influences of stress on PA behaviors.
doi:10.1007/s40279-013-0090-5
PMCID: PMC3894304  PMID: 24030837
19.  The effect of physical exercise on physical and psychological problems 
BACKGROUND:
Despite therapeutic effect of hemodialysis in end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, these patients encounter different physical and psychological tensional factors. Physical exercises have beneficial physical and psychological effects on patients under hemodialysis as one of the accessory therapeutic methods. As few studies have been done about the effects of physical exercise on physical and psychological problems in Iran than other countries, we assessed the effect in patients under hemodialysis.
METHODS:
For this purpose, 43 qualified hemodialysis patients receiving hemodialysis in hospitals of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences were included, but only 35 patients did the exercises for 8 weeks completely. Exercise program was done for 1 hour every session and was composed of ergometer, treadmill and ball playing. Before and after intervention data were collected by interview through a synthetic and adjusted questionnaire. At the end of the intervention, two special questions were added about the improvement of physical and psychological problems. Paired t-test was used to compare the scores of before and after intervention.
RESULTS:
There were significant differences between scores of before and after intervention considering physical problems including sleep, pain and discomfort, daily activities, and physical function; but about sexual activity, there was not a significant difference between scores of before and after intervention. Psychological problems improved after doing exercises too. About first special question, 85.6% of patients expressed an improvement in physical conditions and about second special question, 91.4% of patients expressed an improvement in psychological conditions.
CONCLUSIONS:
Since physical exercise improves the physical (physical function, daily activities, pain and discomfort, sleep), and psychological problems, it is suggested that responsible people prepare equipment for these patients, until they do exercise forever. Nurses would present them the ways of a correct exercise, and doing it in days after hemodialysis, in order to improve physical, and psychological problems in hemodialysis patients, and finally to enhance their quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3093026  PMID: 21589745
Hemodialysis; physical fitness; psychological factors; exercise
20.  EXERCISE in pediatric autologous stem cell transplant patients: a randomized controlled trial protocol 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:401.
Background
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is an intensive therapy used to improve survivorship and cure various oncologic diseases. However, this therapy is associated with high mortality rates and numerous negative side-effects. The recovery of the immune system is a special concern and plays a key role in the success of this treatment. In healthy populations it is known that exercise plays an important role in immune system regulation, but little is known about the role of exercise in the hematological and immunological recovery of children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant. The primary objective of this randomized-controlled trial (RCT) is to study the effect of an exercise program (in- and outpatient) on immune cell recovery in patients undergoing an autologous stem cell transplantation. The secondary objective is to determine if an exercise intervention diminishes the usual deterioration in quality of life, physical fitness, and the acquisition of a sedentary lifestyle.
Methods
This RCT has received approval from The Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board (CHREB) of the University of Calgary (Ethics ID # E-24476). Twenty-four participants treated for a malignancy with autologous stem cell transplant (5 to 18 years) in the Alberta Children’s Hospital will be randomly assigned to an exercise or control group. The exercise group will participate in a two-phase exercise intervention (in- and outpatient) from hospitalization until 10 weeks after discharge. The exercise program includes strength, flexibility and aerobic exercise. During the inpatient phase this program will be performed 5 times/week and will be supervised. The outpatient phase will combine a supervised session with two home-based exercise sessions with the use of the Wii device. The control group will follow the standard protocol without any specific exercise program. A range of outcomes, including quantitative and functional recovery of immune system, cytokine levels in serum, natural killer (NK) cells and their subset recovery and function, and gene expression of activating and inhibitory NK cell receptors, body composition, nutrition, quality of life, fatigue, health-related fitness assessment and physical activity levels will be examined, providing the most comprehensive assessment to date.
Discussion
We expect to find improvements in immunological recovery and quality of life, and decreased acquisition of sedentary behavior and fitness deconditioning. The comprehensive outcomes generated in this RCT will provide preliminary data to conduct a multisite study that will generate stronger outcomes.
Trial registration
Gov identification # NCT01666015
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-401
PMCID: PMC3503655  PMID: 22963378
Pediatric; Hematopoietic stem cell transplant; Cancer; Exercise; Quality of life; Immune system; Physical activity levels
21.  Group vs. individual exercise interventions for women with breast cancer: a meta-analysis 
Health psychology review  2009;4(1):22-41.
Background
Both during and after treatment, cancer survivors experience declines in physical and psychosocial quality of life (QoL). Prior research indicates that exercise interventions alleviate problems in physical functioning and some aspects of psychological functioning. For survivors seeking social support, exercise programs that are conducted in group settings may foster optimal QoL improvement (by addressing additional issues related to isolation, social support) over individually-based exercise programs.
Methods
We reviewed literature on group cohesion in exercise studies, and conducted a meta-analysis to test the hypothesis that group as compared to individual exercise interventions for breast cancer survivors would show greater improvement in QoL.
Results
As currently implemented, group exercise interventions showed no advantage. However, they typically did not provide any evidence that they capitalized upon potentially beneficial group processes.
Conclusions
Future exercise intervention studies could investigate the effect on QoL of deliberately using group dynamics processes, such as team building experiences and group goal setting to foster group cohesion.
doi:10.1080/17437190903384291
PMCID: PMC2895486  PMID: 20607139
cancer; oncology; exercise; group dynamics; quality of life; meta-analysis
22.  Do Couple-Based Interventions Make a Difference for Couples Affected by Cancer?: A Systematic Review 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:279.
Background
With the growing recognition that patients and partners react to a cancer diagnosis as an interdependent system and increasing evidence that psychosocial interventions can be beneficial to both patients and partners, there has been a recent increase in the attention given to interventions that target couples. The aim of this systematic review was to identify existing couple-based interventions for patients with cancer and their partners and explore the efficacy of these interventions (including whether there is added value to target the couple versus individuals), the content and delivery of couple-based interventions, and to identify the key elements of couple-based interventions that promote improvement in adjustment to cancer diagnosis.
Method
A systematic review of the cancer literature was performed to identify experimental and quasi-experimental couple-based interventions published between 1990 and 2011. To be considered for this review, studies had to test the efficacy of a psychosocial intervention for couples affected by cancer. Studies were excluded if they were published in a language other than English or French, focused on pharmacological, exercise, or dietary components combined with psychosocial components, or did not assess the impact of the intervention on psychological distress (e.g., depression, anxiety) or quality of life. Data were extracted using a standardised data collection form, and were analysed independently by three reviewers.
Results
Of the 709 articles screened, 23 were included in this review. Couple-based interventions were most efficacious in improving couple communication, psychological distress, and relationship functioning. Interventions had a limited impact on physical distress and social adjustment. Most interventions focused on improving communication and increasing understanding of the cancer diagnosis within couples. Interventions were most often delivered by masters-level nurses or clinical psychologists. Although most were delivered in person, few were telephone-based. No difference in efficacy was noted based on mode of delivery. Factors associated with uptake and completion included symptom severity, available time and willingness to travel.
Conclusion
Given effect sizes of couple-based interventions are similar to those reported in recent meta-analyses of patient-only and caregiver-only interventions (~d=.35-.45), it appears couple-based interventions for patients with cancer and their partners may be at least as efficacious as patient-only and caregiver-only interventions. Despite evidence that couple-based interventions enhance psycho-social adjustment for both patients and partners, these interventions have not yet been widely adopted. Although more work is needed to facilitate translation to routine practice, evidence reviewed is promising in reducing distress and improving coping and adjustment to a cancer diagnosis or to cancer symptoms.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-279
PMCID: PMC3464780  PMID: 22769228
23.  Exercise training and immune crosstalk in breast cancer microenvironment: exploring the paradigms of exercise-induced immune modulation and exercise-induced myokines 
Observational research suggests that exercise may reduce the risk of breast cancer and improve survival. One proposed mechanism for the protective effect of aerobic exercise related to cancer risk and outcomes, but has not been examined definitively, is the immune response to aerobic exercise. Two prevailing paradigms are proposed. The first considers the host immune response as modifiable by aerobic exercise training. This exercise-modulated immune-tumor crosstalk in the mammary microenvironment may alter the balance between tumor initiation and progression versus tumor suppression. The second paradigm considers the beneficial role of exercise-induced, skeletal muscle-derived cytokines, termed “myokines”. These myokines exert endocrine-like effects on multiple organs, including the mammary glands. In this systematic review, we i) define the role of macrophages and T-cells in breast cancer initiation and progression; ii) address the two paradigms that support exercise-induced immunomodulation; iii) systematically assessed the literature for exercise intervention that assessed biomarkers relevant to both paradigms in human intervention trials of aerobic exercise training, in healthy women and women with breast cancer; iv) incorporated pre-clinical animal studies and non-RCTs for background discussion of putative mechanisms, through which aerobic exercise training modulates the immunological crosstalk, or the myokine-tumor interaction in the tumor microenvironment; and v) speculated on the potential biomarkers and mechanisms that define an exercise-induced, anti-tumor “signature”, with a view toward developing relevant biomarkers for future aerobic exercise intervention trials.
PMCID: PMC4212920  PMID: 25360210
Exercise; breast cancer; immune; myokines; translational; immunotherapy
24.  Randomised controlled trial of a supervised exercise rehabilitation program for colorectal cancer survivors immediately after chemotherapy: study protocol 
BMC Cancer  2007;7:154.
Background
Colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis and the ensuing treatments can have a substantial impact on the physical and psychological health of survivors. As the number of CRC survivors increases, so too does the need to develop viable rehabilitation programs to help these survivors return to good health as quickly as possible. Exercise has the potential to address many of the adverse effects of CRC treatment; however, to date, the role of exercise in the rehabilitation of cancer patients immediately after the completion of treatment has received limited research attention. This paper presents the design of a randomised controlled trial which will evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of a 12-week supervised aerobic exercise program (ImPACT Program) on the physiological and psychological markers of rehabilitation, in addition to biomarkers of standard haematological outcomes and the IGF axis.
Methods/Design
Forty CRC patients will be recruited through oncology clinics and randomised to an exercise group or a usual care control group. Baseline assessment will take place within 4 weeks of the patient completing adjuvant chemotherapy treatment. The exercise program for patients in the intervention group will commence a week after the baseline assessment. The program consists of three supervised moderate-intensity aerobic exercise sessions per week for 12 weeks. All participants will have assessments at baseline (0 wks), mid-intervention (6 wks), post-intervention (12 wks) and at a 6-week follow-up (18 wks). Outcome measures include cardio-respiratory fitness, biomarkers associated with health and survival, and indices of fatigue and quality of life. Process measures are participants' acceptability of, adherence to, and compliance with the exercise program, in addition to the safety of the program.
Discussion
The results of this study will provide valuable insight into the role of supervised exercise in improving life after CRC. Additionally, process analyses will inform the feasibility of implementing the program in a population of CRC patients immediately after completing chemotherapy.
Trial registration
ACTRN012606000395538
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-7-154
PMCID: PMC1973083  PMID: 17686184
25.  Physiotherapy Rehabilitation After Total Knee or Hip Replacement 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of this health technology policy analysis was to determine, where, how, and when physiotherapy services are best delivered to optimize functional outcomes for patients after they undergo primary (first-time) total hip replacement or total knee replacement, and to determine the Ontario-specific economic impact of the best delivery strategy. The objectives of the systematic review were as follows:
To determine the effectiveness of inpatient physiotherapy after discharge from an acute care hospital compared with outpatient physiotherapy delivered in either a clinic-based or home-based setting for primary total joint replacement patients
To determine the effectiveness of outpatient physiotherapy delivered by a physiotherapist in either a clinic-based or home-based setting in addition to a home exercise program compared with a home exercise program alone for primary total joint replacement patients
To determine the effectiveness of preoperative exercise for people who are scheduled to receive primary total knee or hip replacement surgery
Clinical Need
Total hip replacements and total knee replacements are among the most commonly performed surgical procedures in Ontario. Physiotherapy rehabilitation after first-time total hip or knee replacement surgery is accepted as the standard and essential treatment. The aim is to maximize a person’s functionality and independence and minimize complications such as hip dislocation (for hip replacements), wound infection, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.
The Therapy
The physiotherapy rehabilitation routine has 4 components: therapeutic exercise, transfer training, gait training, and instruction in the activities of daily living. Physiotherapy rehabilitation for people who have had total joint replacement surgery varies in where, how, and when it is delivered. In Ontario, after discharge from an acute care hospital, people who have had a primary total knee or hip replacement may receive inpatient or outpatient physiotherapy. Inpatient physiotherapy is delivered in a rehabilitation hospital or specialized hospital unit. Outpatient physiotherapy is done either in an outpatient clinic (clinic-based) or in the person’s home (home-based). Home-based physiotherapy may include practising an exercise program at home with or without supplemental support from a physiotherapist.
Finally, physiotherapy rehabilitation may be administered at several points after surgery, including immediately postoperatively (within the first 5 days) and in the early recovery period (within the first 3 months) after discharge. There is a growing interest in whether physiotherapy should start before surgery. A variety of practises exist, and evidence regarding the optimal pre- and post-acute course of rehabilitation to obtain the best outcomes is needed.
Review Strategy
The Medical Advisory Secretariat used its standard search strategy, which included searching the databases of Ovid MEDLINE, CINHAL, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and PEDro from 1995 to 2005. English-language articles including systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), non-RCTs, and studies with a sample size of greater than 10 patients were included. Studies had to include patients undergoing primary total hip or total knee replacement, aged 18 years of age or older, and they had to have investigated one of the following comparisons: inpatient rehabilitation versus outpatient (clinic- or home-based therapy) rehabilitation, land-based post-acute care physiotherapy delivered by a physiotherapist compared with patient self-administered exercise and a land-based exercise program before surgery. The primary outcome was postoperative physical functioning. Secondary outcomes included the patient’s assessment of therapeutic effect (overall improvement), perceived pain intensity, health services utilization, treatment side effects, and adverse events
The quality of the methods of the included studies was assessed using the criteria outlined in the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Injuries Group Quality Assessment Tool. After this, a summary of the biases threatening study validity was determined. Four methodological biases were considered: selection bias, performance bias, attrition bias, and detection bias. A meta-analysis was conducted when adequate data were available from 2 or more studies and where there was no statistical or clinical heterogeneity among studies. The GRADE system was used to summarize the overall quality of evidence.
Summary of Findings
The search yielded 422 citations; of these, 12 were included in the review including 10 primary studies (9 RCTs, 1 non-RCT) and 2 systematic reviews.
The Medical Advisory Secretariat review included 2 primary studies (N = 334) that examined the effectiveness of an inpatient physiotherapy rehabilitation program compared with an outpatient home-based physiotherapy program on functional outcomes after total knee or hip replacement surgery. One study, available only as an abstract, found no difference in functional outcome at 1 year after surgery (TKR or THR) between the treatments. The other study was an observational study that found that patients who are younger than 71 years of age on average, who do not live alone, and who do not have comorbid illnesses recover adequate function with outpatient home-based physiotherapy. However results were only measured up to 3 months after surgery, and the outcome measure they used is not considered the best one for physical functioning.
Three primary studies (N = 360) were reviewed that tested the effectiveness of outpatient home-based or clinic-based physiotherapy in addition to a self-administered home exercise program, compared with a self-administered exercise program only or in addition to using another therapy (phone calls or continuous passive movement), on postoperative physical functioning after primary TKR surgery. Two of the studies reported no difference in change from baseline in flexion range of motion between those patients receiving outpatient or home-based physiotherapy and doing a home exercise program compared with patients who did a home exercise program only with or without continuous passive movement. The other study reported no difference in the Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores between patients receiving clinic-based physiotherapy and practising a home exercise program and those who received monitoring phone calls and did a home exercise program after TKR surgery.
The Medical Advisory Secretariat reviewed two systematic reviews evaluating the effects of preoperative exercise on postoperative physical functioning. One concluded that preoperative exercise is not effective in improving functional recovery or pain after TKR and any effects after THR could not be adequately determined. The other concluded that there was inconclusive evidence to determine the benefits of preoperative exercise on functional recovery after TKR. Because 2 primary studies were added to the published literature since the publication of these systematic reviews the Medical Advisory Secretariat revisited the question of effectiveness of a preoperative exercise program for patients scheduled for TKR ad THR surgery.
The Medical Advisory Secretariat also reviewed 3 primary studies (N = 184) that tested the effectiveness of preoperative exercise beginning 4-6 weeks before surgery on postoperative outcomes after primary TKR surgery. All 3 studies reported negative findings with regard to the effectiveness of preoperative exercise to improve physical functioning after TKR surgery. However, 2 failed to show an effect of the preoperative exercise program before surgery in those patients receiving preoperative exercise. The third study did not measure functional outcome immediately before surgery in the preoperative exercise treatment group; therefore the study’s authors could not document an effect of the preoperative exercise program before surgery. Regarding health services utilization, 2 of the studies did not find significant differences in either the length of the acute care hospital stay or the inpatient rehabilitation care setting between patients treated with a preoperative exercise program and those not treated. The third study did not measure health services utilization.
These results must be interpreted within the limitations and the biases of each study. Negative results do not necessarily support a lack of treatment effect but may be attributed to a type II statistical error.
Finally, the Medical Advisory Secretariat reviewed 2 primary studies (N = 136) that examined the effectiveness of preoperative exercise on postoperative functional outcomes after primary THR surgery. One study did not support the effectiveness of an exercise program beginning 8 weeks before surgery. However, results from the other did support the effectiveness of an exercise program 8 weeks before primary THR surgery on pain and functional outcomes 1 week before and 3 weeks after surgery.
Conclusions
Based on the evidence, the Medical Advisory Secretariat reached the following conclusions with respect to physiotherapy rehabilitation and physical functioning 1 year after primary TKR or THR surgery:
There is high-quality evidence from 1 large RCT to support the use of home-based physiotherapy instead of inpatient physiotherapy after primary THR or TKR surgery.
There is low-to-moderate quality evidence from 1 large RCT to support the conclusion that receiving a monitoring phone call from a physiotherapist and practising home exercises is comparable to receiving clinic-based physiotherapy and practising home exercises for people who have had primary TKR surgery. However, results may not be generalizable to those who have had THR surgery.
There is moderate evidence to suggest that an exercise program beginning 4 to 6 weeks before primary TKR surgery is not effective.
There is moderate evidence to support the effectiveness of an exercise program beginning 8 weeks before surgery to improve physical functioning 3 weeks after THR surgery.
PMCID: PMC3382414  PMID: 23074477

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