Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Palliat Support Care. 2005 Dec;3(4):281-7.

Are palliative cancer patients willing and able to participate in a physical exercise program?

Author information

  • 1Norwegian Cancer Society, Oslo, Norway. line.oldervoll@ntnu.no



The primary aim of the present article was to identify palliative care patient populations who are willing to participate in and able to complete a group exercise/physical training program designed specifically for the individual patient.


We conducted a prospective phase II intervention study examining the willingness and ability of palliative care cancer patients to participate in a group exercise physical training program. Patients who were diagnosed with incurable cancer and had a life expectancy of less than 1 year at two outpatient clinics were invited to participate in an exercise program in the hospitals. The groups met twice a week over a 6-week period.


One hundred one consecutive patients were asked for inclusion. Sixty-three patients agreed to participate. Sixteen (25%) of the 63 patients dropped out after consent was given, but before the program started due to medical problems, social reasons, or death. Thus, 47 patients started the exercise program. Thirteen patients withdrew during the program due to sudden death, medical problems, or social reasons. The most frequent reasons for withdrawal were increased pain or other symptoms. Thirty-four patients completed the exercise program.


A high proportion of incurable cancer patients were willing to participate (63%) in a structured exercise program. The attrition rate was high, but despite being severely ill, 54% of the patients completed the exercise period. This shows that a physical exercise program tailored to the individual patient is feasible in this population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk