Exercise for patients with cancer: Reducing disease-related fatigue

Musculoskeletal Research Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
Future Oncology (Impact Factor: 2.48). 02/2011; 7(2):165-7. DOI: 10.2217/fon.10.188
Source: PubMed
1 Follower
7 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fatigue and impaired physical performance are common and sometimes serious problems of cancer patients during and after treatment. To avoid fatigue, cancer patients are often advised to rest and downregulate their daily activities. However, these recommendations can cause paradoxical results. Since inactivity induces muscular wasting, prolonged rest can result in further loss of endurance. Recent studies suggest that exercise, as well as behavioral and some psychosocial interventions, may reduce fatigue and improve the performance status of cancer patients. In this paper, we review interventions proposed for the treatment of cancer-related fatigue and present the results of a study about the effects of exercise on the physical performance of patients with hematological malignancies. Sixty-six inpatients (34 men, 32 women) undergoing conventional ( n=45) or high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue ( n=21) for the treatment of a hematological malignancy exercised daily on a treadmill. Physical performance was assessed on admission and once a week during hospitalization (30+/-10 days, range 10-49). Physical performance remained unchanged in a submaximal standard stress test (on admission: 5.5+/-1.4 km/h; midhospitalization: 5.3+/-1.3 km/h; at discharge: 5.5+/-1.3 km/h; p=0.60) despite chemotherapy and its related complications. A significant decrease in the mean hemoglobin concentration (from 10.3+/-2.0 g/dl on admission to 9.6+/-1.2 g/dl at discharge; p=0.03). We conclude that a daily endurance-training program reduces the treatment-related loss of physical performance in patients with hematological malignancies undergoing chemotherapy.
    Supportive Care Cancer 11/2003; 11(10):623-8. DOI:10.1007/s00520-003-0512-2 · 2.36 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The primary aim was to find out if exercise reduces cancer-related fatigue in hospitalised oncology patients. Controlled trials of fatigue outcomes after exercise in hospitalised oncology patients were obtained by searching electronic databases. Two reviewers completed data extraction and quality assessment independently. Standardised mean differences and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were determined and a meta-analysis completed. Five relevant trials evaluated 269 hospitalised oncology patients. Meta-analysis of fatigue had an overall standardised mean difference of -0.27 (95% CI -0.62 to 0.08, p = 0.13) in favour of exercise. Evidence from a single trial supported the use of exercise in increasing muscle strength, and there were no significant between-group differences in psychological status and aerobic capacity. Though inconclusive, the findings demonstrate positive trends of reduced cancer-related fatigue in hospitalised oncology patients who exercise. Future adequately powered trials are required to provide evidence to confirm these positive effects.
    Onkologie 11/2010; 33(11):625-30. DOI:10.1159/000321145 · 0.86 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fatigue is a commonly experienced symptom, which may be a component of virtually any disease and can have a psychological, physical, or mixed origin. Nurses need to understand the onset, duration, and progression of fatigue to intervene successfully with the cancer patient adapting to diagnosis and treatment. While the literature is an important source of information, results of research studies must be critically interpreted before proceeding with practice guidelines based on research findings. A critical appraisal of the research literature investigating the problem of fatigue in individuals with cancer was conducted. There is strong evidence to suggest that fatigue is a prevalent problem among cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However past research has been limited by methodological problems. Typically, studies fail to include a control group, do not control for possible confounding variables, and have restricted measurement to unidimensional scales with limited reliability and validity. While several correlates of fatigue have been postulated, research to date has found no consistent relationships among such correlates as weight loss, anemia, or psychological distress. This article reviews what is currently known about fatigue in the cancer patient and how future research could be designed to improve on past measurement and sampling problems.
    Cancer Nursing 09/1991; 14(4):188-99. DOI:10.1097/00002820-199114040-00004 · 1.97 Impact Factor
Show more