Benefits of partnered strength training for prostate cancer survivors and spouses: results from a randomized controlled trial of the Exercising Together project
- 1.2k Downloads
Prostate cancer can negatively impact quality of life of the patient and his spouse caregiver, but interventions rarely target the health of both partners simultaneously. We tested the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a partnered strength training program on the physical and mental health of prostate cancer survivors (PCS) and spouse caregivers.
Sixty-four couples were randomly assigned to 6 months of partnered strength training (Exercising Together, N = 32) or usual care (UC, N = 32). Objective measures included body composition (lean, fat and trunk fat mass (kg), and % body fat) by DXA, upper and lower body muscle strength by 1-repetition maximum, and physical function by the physical performance battery (PPB). Self-reported measures included the physical and mental health summary scales and physical function and fatigue subscales of the SF-36 and physical activity with the CHAMPS questionnaire.
Couple retention rates were 100 % for Exercising Together and 84 % for UC. Median attendance of couples to Exercising Together sessions was 75 %. Men in Exercising Together became stronger in the upper body (p < 0.01) and more physically active (p < 0.01) than UC. Women in Exercising Together increased muscle mass (p = 0.05) and improved upper (p < 0.01) and lower body (p < 0.01) strength and PPB scores (p = 0.01) more than UC.
Exercising Together is a novel couples-based approach to exercise that was feasible and improved several health outcomes for both PCS and their spouses.
Implications for cancer survivors
A couples-based approach should be considered in cancer survivorship programs so that outcomes can mutually benefit both partners.
KeywordsPhysical activity Dyads Neoplasms Caregiver Physical functioning
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts to report.
This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health 1R21 CA137272.
- 1.American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2015. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2015.Google Scholar
- 6.U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). Families and Living Arrangements. Retrieved January 15, 2015 from https://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/marital.html.
- 19.Galvao DA, Spry N, Denham J, Taaffe DR, Cormie P, Joseph D, et al. A multicentre year-long randomised controlled trial of exercise training targeting physical functioning in men with prostate cancer previously treated with androgen suppression and radiation from TROG 03.04 RADAR. Eur Urol. 2014;65(5):856–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 23.Winters-Stone KM, Lyons KS, Nail LM, Beer TM. The Exercising Together project: design and recruitment for a randomized, controlled trial to determine the benefits of partnered strength training for couples coping with prostate cancer. Contemp Clin Trials. 2012;33(2):342–50.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 27.Winters-Stone KM, Dobek J, Nail LM, Bennett JA, Leo MC, Torgrimson-Ojerio B, et al. Impact + resistance training improves bone health and body composition in prematurely menopausal breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial. Osteoporos Int. 2013;24(5):1637–46.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 29.American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM’s guildelines for exercise testing and prescription. 7th ed. ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.Google Scholar
- 30.Guralnik J, Simonsick E, Ferrucci L, Glynn R, Berkman L, Blazer D, et al. A short physical performance battery assessing lower extremity function: association with self-reported disability and prediction of mortality and nursing home admission. J Gerontol. 1994;49(2):M85–94.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 33.Hopman WM, Towheed T, Anastassiades T, Tenenhouse A, Poliquin S, Berger C, et al. Canadian normative data for the SF-36 health survey. J Can Med Assoc. 2000;163(3):265–71.Google Scholar
- 35.Ottenbacher A, Yu M, Moser RP, Phillips SM, Alfano C, Perna FM. Population estimates of meeting strength training and aerobic guidelines, by gender and cancer survivorship status: findings from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). J Phys Act Health. 2015;12(5):675–9.Google Scholar
- 36.Demark-Wahnefried W, Jones LW, Snyder DC, Sloane RJ, Kimmick GG, Hughes DC, et al. Daughters and Mothers Against Breast Cancer (DAMES): main outcomes of a randomized controlled trial of weight loss in overweight mothers with breast cancer and their overweight daughters. Cancer. 2014;120(16):2522–34.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 37.Galvao DA, Taaffe DR, Spry N, Joseph D, Newton RU. Combined resistance and aerobic exercise program reverses muscle loss in men undergoing androgen suppression therapy for prostate cancer without bone metastases: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2010;28(2):340–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar