Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 11, Issue 11, pp 707–716

Feasibility, physical capacity, and health benefits of a multidimensional exercise program for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy

Authors

    • The University Hospitals Centre for Nursing and Care Research, Department 7331The University Hospital of Copenhagen
  • Julie Midtgaard
    • The University Hospitals Centre for Nursing and Care Research, Department 7331The University Hospital of Copenhagen
  • Mikael Rorth
    • Department of Oncology, Department 5073The University Hospital of Copenhagen
  • Niels Borregaard
    • Department of Hematology, Department 4042The University Hospital of Copenhagen
  • Christina Andersen
    • Department of Oncology, Department 5073The University Hospital of Copenhagen
  • Morten Quist
    • The University Hospitals Centre for Nursing and Care Research, Department 7331The University Hospital of Copenhagen
  • Tom Møller
    • Department of Hematology, Department 4042The University Hospital of Copenhagen
  • Morten Zacho
    • Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre, Department 7652The University Hospital of Copenhagen
  • Jan K. Madsen
    • The University Hospitals Centre for Nursing and Care Research, Department 7331The University Hospital of Copenhagen
  • Lasse Knutsen
    • The University Hospitals Centre for Nursing and Care Research, Department 7331The University Hospital of Copenhagen
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-003-0504-2

Cite this article as:
Adamsen, L., Midtgaard, J., Rorth, M. et al. Support Care Cancer (2003) 11: 707. doi:10.1007/s00520-003-0504-2

Abstract

Cancer patients frequently experience considerable loss of physical capacity and general wellbeing when diagnosed and treated for their disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility, physical capacity, and health benefits of a multidimensional exercise program for cancer patients during advanced stages of disease who are undergoing adjuvant or high-dose chemotherapy. The supervised program included high- and low-intensity activities (physical exercise, relaxation, massage, and body-awareness training). A total of 23 patients between 18 and 65 years of age (median 40 years) participated in groups of seven to nine patients for 9 h weekly for 6 weeks. Physical capacity in terms of repetition maximum (RM) and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), physical activity level and psychosocial wellbeing (EORTC QLQ-C30, SF-36, HAD) were compared prior to and after completion of the program. The program was safe and well tolerated. The completion rate was 85.2%. Highly significant increases in physical capacity (1RM, VO2max) and an improved level of physical activity were achieved. Quality of life and general wellbeing assessments indicated improvements in several measures, but without reaching significance. It is concluded that an exercise program, which combines high- and low-intensity physical activities, may be used to prevent and/or minimize physical inactivity, fatigue, muscle wasting and energy loss in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Keywords

ExerciseChemotherapyMuscle strengthPhysical capacityHealth benefits

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003