Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 3081–3088 | Cite as

Exercise compliance among patients with multiple myeloma undergoing chemotherapy: a retrospective study

  • Shirin Shallwani
  • Mary-Ann Dalzell
  • Warren Sateren
  • Suzanne O’Brien
Original Article



Multiple myeloma (MM) is often associated with osteolytic bone disease and anemia, resulting in skeletal fragility and persistent fatigue, pain, and reduced quality of life. Exercise is considered safe and beneficial for this population. Our objectives were to evaluate the extent to which MM patients undergoing chemotherapy complied with exercise recommendations and to identify factors associated with noncompliance.


This retrospective study included 41 MM patients referred to a hospital-based rehabilitation program while undergoing chemotherapy. Variables collected at baseline (T1) and follow-up (T2) included: (a) demographics and medical history, (b) exercise levels (MET-hours/week), preferences and barriers, and (c) fatigue severity scores (0–10). Statistical analyses included logistic regression to identify factors associated with exercise noncompliance and t-tests and chi-squared tests to compare outcomes between the groups according to compliance.


The mean age of the participants was 61 years; 73 % were male and 81 % had bone lesions. Overall exercise compliance at T2 was 71 %, with an observed increase in exercise levels (mean group difference: 6.5 MET-hours/week; p < 0.001) and decrease in fatigue severity scores (mean group difference −1.2; p = 0.003). Factors associated with exercise noncompliance included history of pathological fracture (odds ratio [OR] 4.7; p = 0.049), spinal cord compression (SCC) (OR 14.1; p = 0.023), and radiation (OR 28.0; p < 0.001).


In this sample of MM patients, high compliance with exercise and associated improvements in fatigue were observed. However, participants with a history of pathological fracture, SCC, or radiation are at increased risk of noncompliance and may require additional supervision to improve exercise compliance.


Multiple myeloma Exercise Rehabilitation Fatigue Compliance 



The authors would like to thank Dr. April Shamy, Dr. Chantal Cassis, Dr. Martin Gyger, and Dr. Stephen Caplan of the Jewish General Hospital Segal Cancer Centre Division of Hematology-Oncology for their involvement in referring patients to the Hope & Cope Rehabilitation and Exercise Oncology Program.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirin Shallwani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mary-Ann Dalzell
    • 1
  • Warren Sateren
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Suzanne O’Brien
    • 1
  1. 1.Jewish General Hospital, Hope & CopeMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Lymphedema ProgramMcGill University Health CentreMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Rossy Cancer NetworkMontréalCanada
  4. 4.Segal Cancer CentreJewish General HospitalMontréalCanada

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