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.
Physical exercise; quality of life; breast cancer survivors; Italian Oncology
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.
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.
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.
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.
cancer; oncology; exercise; group dynamics; quality of life; meta-analysis
Exercise improves quality of life (QOL) in people with cancer. Most oncology healthcare providers recognize the statement to be true because the research literature provides strong support for the physical and psychological benefits of exercise. Because the terms exercise, QOL, and people with cancer have different meanings, the contextual connections in which they are used are important to understanding the relationship between exercise and QOL in people with cancer. This article explores the links between exercise and QOL in people with cancer and examines issues that impact the development, implementation, and evaluation of exercise programs for people with cancer. Issues related to exercise goal development, exercise prescription, exercise testing, exercise adherence, and methods to evaluate the efficacy of exercise in relation to QOL are discussed.
Exercise improves functional outcome and symptoms for certain cancer populations, but the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of structured exercise in patients with lung cancer is unknown. In this study, we examined the feasibility of a hospital-based exercise program for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
This study included patients with newly diagnosed advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0–1. A physical therapist facilitated twice-weekly sessions of aerobic exercise and weight training over an 8-week period. The primary end point was feasibility of the intervention, defined as adherence to the exercise program. Secondary endpoints included functional capacity, measured by the 6-minute walk test and muscle strength, as well as quality of life, lung cancer symptoms and fatigue, measured by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-lung and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-fatigue scales.
Between October 2004 and August 2007, 25 patients enrolled in the study. All participants received anticancer therapy during the study period. Twenty patients (80%) underwent the baseline physical therapy evaluation. Eleven patients (44%) completed all 16 sessions. An additional 6 patients attended at least 6 sessions (range, 6–15), and 2 patients only attended one session. Study completers experienced a significant reduction in lung cancer symptoms and no deterioration in their 6-minute walk test or muscle strength.
Although the majority of participants attempted the exercise program, less than half were able to complete the intervention. Those who completed the program experienced an improvement in their lung cancer symptoms. Community-based or briefer exercise interventions may be more feasible in this population.
Non-small cell lung cancer; Exercise; Supportive care
This research introduces the concept of a long-term community-based program of individualized exercise as a feasible and effective intervention to improve quality of life for persons with all stages of cancer.
To determine the effects of a community-based program of exercise on quality of life (QOL) of persons with cancer over time.
Participants were referred by their physician to participate in an individualized program of exercise at one of 14 community centers. The Medical Outcomes Survey, Short Form, version 2.0 (SF-36) was used to assess QOL. Individual participants were monitored for 2 years. Data collection took place at baseline, every 3 months months during year 1, and every 6 months during year 2.
Enrolled participants (n = 701) had been diagnosed with different cancers and were at all stages; 177 completed data collection for 2 years. One-way analysis of variance (n = 177) supported the positive impact of exercise on QOL over time. Significant subscale scores of the SF-36, including Physical Function (F = 2.13, P ≤ .047), Role Physical (F = 3.78, P ≤ .001), Vitality (F = 5.97, P ≤ .001), Social Function (F = 4.46, P ≤ .001), Role Emotional (F = 2.56, P ≤ .01), Mental Health (F = 2.16, P ≤ .05), and General Health (F = 3.42, P ≤ .01), were sustainable over time.
This research introduces the concept of a long-term community-based program of individualized exercise as a feasible and effective intervention to improve QOL for persons with all stages of cancer. Improvements, noted at the 3-month time point, appear to be sustainable for extended time (24 months). Attrition is problematic and needs to be addressed. Results from this study have significance for practice recommendations and health policy reimbursement issues.
Adherence has significantly affected the efficacy of a randomized clinical trial (RCT) to test exercise interventions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Exercise; adherence; cancer; treatment; randomized clinical trial
The primary objective of this pilot study was to explore the feasibility of implementing two exercise programs for female patients who are breast cancer survivors and residents of the metropolitan area of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Potential benefits and complications of participating in a gym-exercise program or a home-exercise program, as opposed to standard care, were identified. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: a gym-exercise group, a home-exercise group, or a non-exercise group. Interventions consisted of exercise programs with both aerobic and strengthening components, offered for a 26-week period. Outcome measures consisted of functional evaluation, shoulder range of motion, 12-minute walk test, handgrip strength, body mass index, and quality of life. The results of this study showed that it is feasible for Puerto Rican women to participate in a moderate intensity exercise program without developing complications. Participation in the exercise programs studied here minimized the side effects after cancer treatment, such as reduced physical functional ability and restricted shoulder mobility. Improvements were found in the measures of shoulder range of motion, upper extremity related physical function, and distance walked.
exercise; Puerto Rico; breast cancer; survivorship
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.
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.
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.
During radiation therapy, cancer patients may report cancer-related fatigue (CRF), which impairs aerobic capacity, strength, muscle mass, and, ultimately, quality of life (QOL). The purpose of this pilot clinical trial was to examine the feasibility and initial efficacy of a home-based aerobic and progressive resistance exercise intervention for aerobic capacity, strength, muscle mass, CRF, and QOL. Daily steps walked (DSW), daily minutes of resistance exercise (MRE), and number of resistance exercise days (RED) were assessed to evaluate intervention adherence. Breast and prostate cancer patients (n = 38) beginning radiation therapy were randomized to undergo 4 weeks of exercise or no exercise. Participants in the exercise group demonstrated good adherence to the exercise intervention, with significantly more DSW, MRE, and RED at post intervention and 3 month follow-up than controls. Participants in the exercise intervention exhibited significantly higher QOL and significantly lower CRF post intervention and at 3-month follow-up than controls. Results of this pilot study provide positive preliminary evidence that exercise during radiation may be beneficial for cancer patients.
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.
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.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN24901641.
ONCOLOGY; CHEMOTHERAPY; CLINICAL PHYSIOLOGY; SPORTS MEDICINE
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.
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.
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.
There is research evidence which supports the effectiveness of exercise in reducing pain and increasing function in patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome. However, what is unclear are the parameters underpinning this intervention. This has led to uncertainty when operationalizing exercises for patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome in clinical practice. The aim of this review was to evaluate the parameters of exercise programs reported in primary research, to provide clinicians with evidence-based recommendations for exercise prescription for patellofemoral pain.
A systematic review of randomized controlled trials was undertaken. Only trials that identified exercise to be effective in treating patellofemoral pain were included. Appropriate databases and reference lists were searched using established keywords. Data relating to common exercise parameters such as the type of exercise, length, and frequency of intervention, intensity, repetitions, sets, and specific technique were extracted, along with details of co-interventions that may have been used.
A total of ten randomized controlled trials were included in this review and from these trials 14 interventions arms were evaluated. All 14 interventions focused on active exercises, all but two of which also included a passive stretching component. The current body of evidence demonstrates positive results with exercise interventions such as knee extension, squats, stationary cycling, static quadriceps, active straight leg raise, leg press, and step-up and down exercises for patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome. A progressive regime of daily exercises of two to four sets of ten or more repetitions over an intervention period of 6 weeks or more, combined with exercises to address flexibility of the lower limb musculature was commonly used.
Currently, the primary research on this topic supports the use of closed kinetic chain, strengthening exercises for musculature of the lower limb, combined with flexibility options. The current evidence base supports a prescription of daily exercises of two–four sets of ten or more repetitions over a period of 6 weeks or more.
patellofemoral pain syndrome; PFPS; repetitions; lower limb; musculature
Previous research has shown that breathing exercises may improve the prognosis and health status in patients with lung cancer by enhancing pulmonary function and quality of life (QOL). However, individually published results are inconclusive. The aim of the present meta-analysis was to evaluate the clinical value of breathing exercises on post-operative pulmonary function and QOL in patients with lung cancer. A literature search of Pubmed, Embase, the Web of Science and CBM databases was conducted from their inception through to October 2012. Crude standardized mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the effect of breathing exercises. A total of eight clinical studies were ultimately included with 398 lung cancer patients. When all the eligible studies were pooled into the meta-analysis, there was a significant difference between the pre-intervention and post-intervention results of breathing exercises on post-operative pulmonary function; forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1): SMD, 3.37; 95% CI, 1.97–4.77; P<0.001; FEV1/FVC: SMD, 1.77; 95% CI, 0.15–3.39; P=0.032). Furthermore, the QOL in patients with lung cancer was significantly improved following the intervention with breathing exercises; there were significant differences between the pre-intervention and post-intervention results on the ability of self-care in daily life (SMD, −1.00; 95% CI, −1.467 to −0.52; P<0.001), social activities (SMD, −0.94; 95% CI, −1.73 to −0.15; P=0.02), symptoms of depression (SMD, −0.91; 95% CI, −1.25 to −0.57; P<0.001) and symptoms of anxiety (SMD, −0.91; 95% CI, −1.20 to −0.63; P<0.001). Results from the present meta-analysis suggest that breathing exercises may significantly improve post-operative pulmonary function and QOL in patients with lung cancer.
breathing exercises; lung cancer; pulmonary function; quality of life; meta-analysis
Background & objectives:
Patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) undergoing chemoradiotherapy (CRT) suffer from fatigue causing a decrease in functional capacity and quality of life (QoL). Limited research in the field of exercise training among these patients demanded the need for this study to assess the effects of exercise training on functional capacity and quality of life.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted on 48 patients with HNC undergoing CRT. The exercise group received an individually tailored, supervised, exercise programme for six weeks, while the control group did not receive any form of exercise. Functional capacity and QoL were assessed at baseline and at the end of the intervention using the six minute walk distance (6MWD) and medical outcomes survey short form 36 (SF 36).
The mean age of patients was 52 yr with 42 males. After six weeks, the 6MWD improved by 42 metres (P<0.05) in the exercise group while the control group showed a decrease by 96 metres (P<0.001). There was an improvement on the mental component score (MCS) of SF36 for the exercise group (4.8; P<0.05) and the physical component score (PCS) remained almost the same, while a decrease in PCS and MCS was seen in the control group (-5.9; P=0.064 and -17.3; P<0.05). When 6MWD and SF36 were compared between the groups, there was a statistically significant difference (P<0.001) seen after six weeks.
Interpretation & conclusions:
Our results showed that the functional capacity and QoL decreased among those not receiving a supervised exercise program, while exercise training improved functional capacity and QoL in HNC patients undergoing CRT.
Cancer; exercise; functional capacity; quality of life; rehabilitation; six minute walk test
Cancer diagnosis and treatment, particularly chemotherapy, has well-established adverse effects on individuals. Exercise has been found to confer benefits to patients, although the current evidence base is limited primarily to patients assessed during or after treatment. Although exercise has been a target of intervention efforts, its relationship to quality of life in patients about to begin chemotherapy has not fully been examined.
To examine the relationship of pre-treatment exercise rates to patient quality of life.
One hundred and ninety-two adults diagnosed with stage I-IV cancer and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≤ 2, provided data on exercise, distress (anxiety and depression), and health-related quality of life prior to their initial chemotherapy infusion.
As predicted, higher rates of exercise activity were associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression, and better overall mental and physical quality of life. These relationships were independent of demographic variables (i.e., body mass index and age) also associated with quality of life in the present analyses.
These findings further highlight the importance of assessing exercise before the start of chemotherapy as part of broader efforts to link patients to appropriate interventions aimed at enhancing quality of life. Findings also raise the possibility that assessing exercise rates could be useful in matching patients to the type of intervention most likely to benefit them. Future research should use prospective longitudinal designs to further explore this association.
Cancer; oncology; exercise; activity level; depression; anxiety
Although it is widely accepted that exercise is beneficial in patients with end-stage renal disease as in the general population, it is not easy to incorporate exercise programs into routine clinical practice. This review aimed to investigate the beneficial effects of exercise during hemodialysis and also to introduce various intradialytic exercise programs and their advantages as a first step in combining exercise programs into clinical practice. Aerobic and resistance exercise are beneficial not only in improving physical functioning, including maximal oxygen uptake and muscle strength, but also in improving anthropometrics, nutritional status, hematological indexes, inflammatory cytokines, depression, and health-related quality of life. However, it is not clear whether the beneficial effects of exercise are limited to only relatively healthy dialysis patients. Therefore, the effects of individualized exercise programs for elderly patients or patients with comorbid conditions need to be studied further.
End-stage renal disease; Dialysis; Exercise
In 2009, the American College of Sports Medicine convened an expert roundtable to issue guidelines on exercise for cancer survivors. This multidisciplinary group evaluated the strength of the evidence for the safety and benefits of exercise as a therapeutic intervention for survivors. The panel concluded that exercise is safe and offers myriad benefits for survivors including improvements in physical function, strength, fatigue, quality of life (QOL), and possibly recurrence and survival. Recommendations for situations in which deviations from the US Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans are appropriate were provided. Here, we outline a process for implementing the guidelines in clinical practice, and provide recommendations for how the oncology care provider can interface with the exercise and physical therapy community.
exercise; physical therapy; survivorship; cancer; rehabilitation; health promotion
Returning to work can be problematic for cancer survivors due to suboptimal workplace support, a heavy workload, decreased physical functioning and fatigue. The timely and permanent return to work (RtW) of cancer patients favourably influences quality of life and economic independence. Multidisciplinary interventions aimed at timely and enduring RtW are lacking. The objectives of this article are (1) to describe the protocol of an intervention aimed at RtW of cancer patients, comprising of counselling by an oncological occupational physician and supervised physical exercise in a clinical setting during treatment and (2) to present the design of the study aimed at evaluating the feasibility of this intervention.
Methods and analysis
The intervention comprises three counselling sessions with an oncological occupational physician and a 12-week moderate-to-high intensity physical exercise programme, starting at the onset of chemotherapy. The intervention is aimed at cancer patients treated with curative intent, aged 18–60 years, employed and on sick leave. It will take place in two large medical centres in the Netherlands. The feasibility of the intervention will be evaluated as follows: the number of sessions, topics discussed and exercises executed will be registered by care providers; patients' and care providers' opinions will be assessed by questionnaires and interviews, respectively; and the proportion of invited patients that participated will be calculated.
Ethics and dissemination
The study results will be used for optimising the intervention content and may serve as a foundation for future implementation. The Medical Ethics Committees of the Academic Medical Center and the participating medical centres approved the study protocol.
The goals of this article are to describe the protocol of an intervention aimed at RtW of cancer patients, comprising of counselling by an oncological occupational physician and supervised physical exercise in a clinical setting during treatment and to present the design of the study used to evaluate the feasibility of this intervention.
Returning to work is problematic for cancer survivors due to, among other factors, suboptimal workplace support, a heavy workload, decreased physical functioning and fatigue.
Timely and enduring RtW may favourably influence quality of life and economic independence of cancer patients.
A multidisciplinary intervention for cancer patients consisting of counselling and physical exercise aimed at returning to work is warranted and must be evaluated for feasibility.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The intervention is innovative in its early onset, clinical setting and the fact that both work- and physical health-related determinants of RtW are targeted.
The feasibility of the intervention will be investigated thoroughly at the level of the patients and the care providers using qualitative and quantitative methods.
Only one occupational health professional will be involved in the intervention, and physical exercise will not be continued after chemotherapy treatment has concluded.
Evaluation and delivery of physical activity and exercise programs appear impeded by the substantial numbers of Americans who are unwilling or unable to participate regularly in physical activity. As a step toward identifying effective interventions, we reviewed available research on determinants relating to the adoption and maintenance of physical activity. We categorized determinants as personal, environmental, or characteristic of the exercise. We have considered supervised participation separately from spontaneous activity in the general population. A wide variety of determinants, populations, and settings have been studied within diverse research traditions and disciplines. This diversity and the varied interpretation of the data hinder our clearly summarizing the existing knowledge. Although we provide some directions for future study and program evaluation, there is a need for research that tests hypotheses derived from theoretical models and that has clear implications for intervention programs. We still need to explore whether general theories of health behavior or approaches relating to specific exercises or activities can be used to predict adoption and maintenance of physical activity.
To study the feasibility of first, reaching functionally declined, but still independent older persons at risk of falls through their general practitioner (GP) and second, to reduce their physiological and psychological fall risk factors with a complex exercise intervention. We investigated the effects of a 16-week exercise intervention on physiological (function, strength, and balance) and psychological (fear of falling) outcomes in community-dwelling older persons in comparison with usual care. In addition, we obtained data on adherence of the participants to the exercise program.
Tests on physical and psychological fall risk were conducted at study inclusion, and after the 16-week intervention period in the GP office setting. The 16-week intervention included progressive and challenging balance, gait, and strength exercise as well as changes to behavioral aspects. To account for the hierarchical structure in the chosen study design, with patients nested in GPs and measurements nested in patients, a three-level linear mixed effects model was determined for analysis.
In total, 33 GPs recruited 378 participants (75.4% females). The mean age of the participants was 78.1 years (standard deviation 5.9 years). Patients in the intervention group showed an improvement in the Timed-Up-and-Go-test (TUG) that was 1.5 seconds greater than that showed by the control group, equivalent to a small to moderate effect. For balance, a relative improvement of 0.8 seconds was accomplished, and anxiety about falls was reduced by 3.7 points in the Falls Efficacy Scale–International (FES-I), in the intervention group relative to control group. In total, 76.6% (N = 170) of the intervention group participated in more than 75% the supervised group sessions.
The strategy to address older persons at high risk of falling in the GP setting with a complex exercise intervention was successful. In functionally declined, community-dwelling, older persons a complex intervention for reducing fall risks was effective compared with usual care.
complex exercise intervention; functional declined community-dwelling older persons
It was hypothesised that increased exercise capacity is related to improved quality of life (QoL) in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). A 12-week individually tailored unsupervised aerobic exercise programme was offered to 42 patients with CF. At the start and at the end of the exercise programme, data on QoL, current exercise habits and preferences, anthropometric data, exercise test, and lung function test were collected. Adherence was observed by a heart rate (HR) monitor. A total of 24 patients accepted to be enrolled in the exercise programme and 14 completed the programme. Another 14 patients declined to be enrolled in the exercise programme but completed the Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire for Adolescents and Adults (CFQ-R 14+). Four patients did not want to participate at all. The 14 patients completing the exercise programme had a significantly increased VO2max, but they showed no significant change in total QoL score. However, the scores in the domain of treatment burden and emotional functioning increased significantly. There was no significant difference in QoL and lung function between patients participating in the exercise programme (n = 24) and non-participants (n = 14). A 12-week individually tailored unsupervised aerobic exercise programme where HR monitors were used significantly affected VO2max. Improvement in QoL could not be demonstrated in this study.
Exercise improves quality of life (QOL) in cancer survivors, although characteristics of efficacious exercise interventions for this population have not been identified.
The present meta-analysis examines the efficacy of exercise interventions in improving QOL in cancer survivors, as well as features that may moderate such effects.
Studies were identified and coded, and QOL effect sizes were calculated and analyzed for trends.
Overall, exercise interventions increased QOL, but this tendency depended to some extent on exercise and patient features. Although several features were associated with effect sizes, models revealed that interventions were particularly successful if they targeted more intense aerobic exercise and addressed women. These tendencies emerged over longer periods of time and were more prominent in studies with higher methodological quality.
Appropriately designed exercise interventions enhance QOL for cancer survivors and this pattern is especially evident for women. Limitations are discussed.
Cancer; Oncology; Exercise; Behavioral interventions; Quality of life; Meta-analysis; Exercise interventions; Cancer survivors
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.
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.
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.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN58562962.
OA is a common chronic disease and there is a need for treatments that can be provided for the course of the disease with minimal adverse side effects. Exercise is a safe intervention in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) with few contraindications or adverse events. Indeed, there are few treatments that, from a public health perspective, can be delivered to a large proportion of those with OA with little associated adverse risk as exercise. Exercise therapy is recommended by all clinical guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis (OA) and this recommendation is supported by Level 1 evidence. Obesity is the most modifiable risk factor for knee OA. The mechanisms by which obesity affects osteoarthritis are of great concern to osteoarthritis researchers and clinicians who manage this disease. This paper reviews the physiologic and mechanical consequences of obesity and exercise on older adults with knee OA; the effects of long-term weight-loss and exercise interventions, and the utility and feasibility of translating these results to clinical practice.
obesity; knee osteoarthritis; degenerative joint disease; exercise; weight loss
To review evidence that muscle-derived interleukin-6 (IL-6) mediates some of the beneficial effects of exercise on cancer treatment–related fatigue (CTRF).
Electronic nursing, psychology, and medicine databases.
Fatigue is a common and often debilitating symptom associated with cancer treatment. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying CTRF have yet to be fully elucidated, it may be akin to the fatigue associated with “sickness behavior,” which is initiated by the production of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Physical exercise has been shown to decrease fatigue levels in patients with cancer undergoing treatment. Skeletal muscle selectively produces IL-6 during exercise, and muscle-derived IL-6 can decrease the production and activity of IL-1β and TNF-α. Thus, the anti-inflammatory effects of muscle-derived IL-6 may be a mechanism underlying the observed beneficial effects of exercise on CTRF.
Further studies are needed to determine whether the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise underlie its beneficial effects on CTRF.
Implications for Nursing
Nurses have proven to be leaders in the field of cancer symptom management. An understanding of potential mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of exercise on CTRF may help to fine-tune exercise interventions to maximize symptom control and to identify new treatment strategies for fatigued patients with cancer who are unable to participate in an exercise program.