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Cancer Commun (Lond). 2019 Aug 9;39(1):46. doi: 10.1186/s40880-019-0390-8.

Effects of two types of exercise training on psychological well-being, sleep, quality of life and physical fitness in patients with high-grade glioma (WHO III and IV): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Basel, 4031, Basel, Switzerland.
Division of Sport and Psychosocial Health, Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Basel, 4052, Basel, Switzerland.
Division of Sport and Psychosocial Health, Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Basel, 4052, Basel, Switzerland.
Center for Affective, Stress and Sleep Disorders (ZASS), Psychiatric Clinics (UPK), University Basel, 4002, Basel, Switzerland.
Department of Psychiatry, Substance Abuse Prevention Research Center, Health Institute, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences (KUMS), Kermanshah, 6719851115, Iran.
Sleep Disorders Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences (KUMS), Kermanshah, 6719851115, Iran.



There is existing evidence on whether and to what degree regular exercise training improves the quality of life (QoL) among cancer survivors. However, in regards to patients with high-grade glioma (HGG; WHO grade III and IV), no conclusive study has been performed so far. The present trial aims to fill this gap by examining whether psychological well-being, sleep, QoL and physical fitness might be improved with two different types of exercise, as compared to an active control condition. Active control condition represent individuals participating at regular meetings to talk about their current life situation, though, the meetings were not intended as that of the psychotherapy group. Regular meetings are of the same frequency, duration, and intensity as the exercise interventions.


A total of 45 patients with HGG after undergoing neurosurgery and adjuvant radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or chemoradiotherapy will be consecutively and randomly assigned to (a) an endurance training, (b) a resistance training or (c) to an active control condition. The intervention will last for 6 consecutive weeks, consisting of 2 weekly sessions (30-45 min per session). Measurements would take place at three time points, namely at the beginning of the study (baseline), 3 weeks after the beginning of the study, and 6 weeks after the beginning of the study. The last measurement also represents the end of the study. Aerobic exercise performance will be assessed objectively with a 6-min walking test, and a handgrip test will be used to assess the upper body strength. Further, participants will complete a battery of questionnaires covering sociodemographic information, QoL, sleep quality and sleep patterns, coping with stress, state- and trait-anxiety, depression, and fatigue. In parallel, experts will use the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale to determine and rate participants' symptoms of depression.


The present study will be the first to investigate and compare the impact of two different exercise modalities, namely endurance and resistance training, on physical fitness and dimensions of well-being, and sleep among patients with HGG who underwent neurosurgery followed by adjuvant radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or chemoradiotherapy. Importantly, unlike the majority of previous studies, the control condition consists of an active set-up to detect possible factual beneficial effects of exercise training, irrespective of social interactions. Trial registration ; identifier: NCT03775369.


Anxiety; Brain; Control condition; Exercise; Glioma; Perceived stress; Quality of life; Sleep; Training; Tumor

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