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Physiother Can. 2015 Spring;67(2):205-13. doi: 10.3138/ptc.2014-24O.

Feasibility of a pedometer-based walking program for survivors of breast and head and neck cancer undergoing radiation therapy.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.
2
Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.
3
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta.
4
Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry ; Department of Radiation Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton.
5
Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine ; Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry ; Department of Radiation Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton.

Abstract

in English, French

PURPOSE:

This pilot study assessed the feasibility and acceptability of a pedometer-based walking program for people with breast cancer and head and neck cancer (HNC) undergoing radiation therapy treatment.

METHODS:

Participants were given a pedometer and prescribed a home-based walking program that included an individualized weekly step-count goal during the 3- to 5-week course of radiation therapy. Feasibility was determined by calculating recruitment rate, completion rate, and rate of adherence. Secondary outcomes included 6-minute walk test (6MWT) distance, step count, physical activity level, and psychological outcomes of depression, happiness, self-esteem, and sleep quality.

RESULTS:

A total of 21 participants were recruited. All participants completed the study; adherence to prescribed step counts was 91% at follow-up. Analysis found a significant improvement in happiness, as measured by the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (mean difference 0.3, p=0.003), and a borderline significant improvement in 6MWT distance (mean difference 35 m, p=0.008).

CONCLUSION:

This pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of a pedometer-based walking program for survivors of breast cancer and HNC undergoing radiation therapy.

KEYWORDS:

breast cancer; head and neck cancer; physical activity; radiation therapy; walking

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