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Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 Mar;33(2):342-50. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2011.10.015. Epub 2011 Nov 11.

The Exercising Together project: design and recruitment for a randomized, controlled trial to determine the benefits of partnered strength training for couples coping with prostate cancer.

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School of Nursing, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, United States.


Prostate cancer can threaten quality of life for the patient and his spouse and the quality of his marital relationship. The purpose of our study is to evaluate the effects of "Exercising Together" - a partnered strength training program for married couples coping with prostate cancer - on the physical and emotional health of prostate cancer survivors (PCS) and their spouses and on marital quality. We are conducting a 6-month randomized controlled trial with two groups: 1) Exercising Together - a progressive, supervised strength training program and 2) a usual care control condition. The primary aims of this exploratory study are to: 1) Determine the effect of partnered strength training on physical and emotional health (muscle strength, physical function, body composition and self-report physical and mental health) in PCS, 2) Determine the effect of partnered strength training on physical and emotional health in spouses and 3) Explore the effect of partnered strength training on marital quality (incongruence, communication, relationship quality, intimacy) of the PCS and spouse. Target accrual has been met in this study with 64 couples enrolled and randomized to exercise (n=32) or usual care (n=32) groups. This study is the first to examine the feasibility of this exercise format in both the chronically ill patient and spouse and explore benefits at the individual and couple level.

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