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Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 18, Issue 11, pp 1367–1376 | Cite as

The effects of resistance training on quality of life in cancer: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis

  • Fiona CrampEmail author
  • Abigail James
  • Jessica Lambert
Review Article

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to carry out a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of resistance training upon quality of life (QoL) in cancer.

Methods

Search strategy: A wide range of electronic databases were searched from inception to October 2009 using relevant key words. Reference lists of all studies identified for inclusion and relevant reviews were also searched. Relevant journals were hand searched and experts in the field contacted. Selection criteria: Randomized controlled trials that investigated the specific effect of resistance training on QoL in adult cancer survivors were included. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently assessed methodological quality and extracted data based upon predefined criteria. A meta-analysis was performed for QoL using a random effects model.

Results

Six studies were identified for inclusion. Two studies demonstrated a significantly beneficial effect of resistance training on QoL compared to usual care. Post-test means ± standard deviations were available for all comparisons providing data for 278 participants who received a resistance training intervention and 270 control participants. The results of the meta-analysis demonstrated that, at the end of the intervention period, resistance training was statistically more effective than the control intervention (SMD −0.17, 95% CIs −0.34 to −0.00). Overall, there was heterogeneity between studies in relation to tumor type, stage of cancer treatment, type of cancer treatment, and duration of the intervention.

Conclusions

Existing evidence suggests that strength training programs for cancer survivors have marginal benefit. Further, fully powered studies are required to determine the optimal type, intensity, and timing of resistance training.

Keywords

Resistance training Quality of life Cancer Systematic review Meta-analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgement

We would like to thank the following individuals for their contributions to this review: Jennifer Campbell, Patrick Cookson, and Lauren Wee.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Allied Health Professions, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Glenside CampusUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK
  2. 2.Barking, Dagenham and Redbridge NHS TrustRomfordUK
  3. 3.Physiotherapy DepartmentHereford Hospitals NHS Trust, The County HospitalHerefordUK

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