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Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2005 Mar;9(1):56-63.

A pilot study of a supervised group exercise programme as a rehabilitation treatment for women with breast cancer receiving adjuvant treatment.

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Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Glasgow G12 8RZ, UK.


This pilot study examined whether exercise as an adjunctive rehabilitation therapy could benefit women who have early stage breast cancer and are currently receiving chemotherapy/radiotherapy. The study was designed as a randomised controlled trial (RCT). Physical functioning, fatigue and Quality of Life (QoL) outcomes were evaluated pre and post a 12-week intervention. The results showed that after 12 weeks the women who participated in the exercise programme (n = 12) displayed significantly higher levels of physical functioning and reported higher QoL scores than the controls (n = 10). Changes in fatigue and satisfaction with life favoured the intervention group but did not reach significance. These results are encouraging and suggest that a structured group exercise programme during adjuvant treatment is a safe, well tolerated and effective way of providing physical and psychological health benefits to women during treatment for early stage breast cancer. Since this was a pilot study the numbers did not allow appropriately powered analyses of some variables of interest and favoured relatively young and socio-economically advantaged women. Future studies need to address these issues and determine if these short-term benefits can be sustained.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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