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Gait Posture. 2014 Mar;39(3):865-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2013.11.014. Epub 2013 Dec 1.

Functional capacity and fear of falling in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Author information

1
Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Ginnheimer Landstraße 39, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address: niederer@sport.uni-frankfurt.de.
2
Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Ginnheimer Landstraße 39, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address: schmidt@sport.uni-frankfurt.de.
3
Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Ginnheimer Landstraße 39, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address: l.vogt@sport.uni-frankfurt.de.
4
Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Ginnheimer Landstraße 39, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address: janis.egen@hotmail.de.
5
Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Ginnheimer Landstraße 39, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address: klingler@sport.uni-frankfurt.de.
6
Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Ginnheimer Landstraße 39, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, 75 East St, Lidcombe, Sydney, NSW 2141, Australia. Electronic address: markus.huebscher@sydney.edu.au.
7
Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Ginnheimer Landstraße 39, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address: c.thiel@sport.uni-frankfurt.de.
8
Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Ginnheimer Landstraße 39, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address: m.bernhoerster@sport.uni-frankfurt.de.
9
Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Ginnheimer Landstraße 39, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address: winfried.banzer@sport.uni-frankfurt.de.

Abstract

Cancer patients, particularly during chemotherapy, often encounter functional status limitations. This study examines fear of falling, balance, gait and lower limb strength in cancer patients during ongoing or recently completed (≤12 months) chemotherapeutic treatment in comparison to age-matched and senior controls (≥65 years). Data were obtained from 69 subjects; 21 cancer patients (51±7 years) with histological confirmed diagnosis and two control groups (2×n=24): one age-matched (53±7 years) and one senior group (70±3 years). Fear of falling (FoF) was evaluated using the Falls Efficacy Scale-International Version. Motor function measurement included postural sway (centre of pressure) in upright stance with eyes covered, gait speed (comfortable fluid walking) and maximum voluntary isometric quadriceps strength (MIVF). One-way ANOVA followed by corrected post hoc paired-sample t-test revealed inferior values in cancer patients than in age-matched healthy regarding all parameters. Gait speed and MIVF of cancer patients were higher than in the senior control group (p<.05), whereas their FoF and postural sway were comparable (p>.05). Physical performance parameters of cancer patients were found to be lower in comparison to healthy age-matched subjects. Cancer patients show physical impairments which may limit independence and may increase fall risk. The present findings call for routine screening of physical function in cancer patients, and further stress the relevance of exercise interventions during and after chemotherapy.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Chemotherapy; Fear of falling; Functional capacity; Gait speed

PMID:
24360638
DOI:
10.1016/j.gaitpost.2013.11.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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