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Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2016 Sep;25(5):784-94. doi: 10.1111/ecc.12422. Epub 2015 Nov 23.

Resistance training improves fatigue and quality of life in previously sedentary breast cancer survivors: a randomised controlled trial.

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School of Science and Technology, University New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia.
School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia.
Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
The National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM), University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia.
Exercise, Health and Performance Research Group and Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Hebrew Senior-Life and Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA.
School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia.


The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the benefits of resistance training (RT) on quality of life (QOL) and fatigue in breast cancer survivors as an adjunct to usual care. We recruited 39 women who had survived breast cancer [mean age (y) 51.9 ± 8.8; time since diagnosis (m) 11.6 ± 13.2]. Primary outcomes were fatigue as assessed by the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy - Fatigue (FACIT) scale and QOL as assessed by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - General (FACT-G) scale. ANCOVA was used to assess the change in the primary outcomes while controlling for baseline values, with effect sizes (ES) displayed as partial Eta squared. The experimental group received supervised RT 3 days per week in a university clinic for 16 weeks. Perceptions of fatigue improved significantly in the RT group compared to controls [mean (SD) 6.7 (7.5) points vs. 1.5 (3.7) points], (P = 0.006, ES = 0.20) as did QOL [6.9 (8.5) points vs. 1.6 (4.4) points], (P = 0.015, ES = 0.16). We demonstrated both statistically and clinically important improvements in fatigue and QOL in response to RT in breast cancer survivors.


breast cancer survivors; fatigue; quality of life; resistance training

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