The use of exercise and self-management to improve perception of health status and quality of life in breast cancer survivors completing chemotherapy


OBJECTIVE To determine the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of an exercise and self-management program on physical activity level, health related quality of life, and perception of health status in women with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy. METHODS Design: Single-center pilot randomized controlled trial. Participants: Community-dwelling, women, over 18 years of age, currently undergoing chemotherapy for Stage 1-3 BC. Intervention Group: Eight sessions of moderate intensity aerobic exercise using a recumbent bike and eight self-management modules using technology. Control Group: Usual care. Outcomes: Feasibility (recruitment, retention, adherence rates), physical activity level (Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire), quality of life (FACT-B), and health status (EQ-5D). RESULTS Twenty-nine women were screened for this study. Twenty-seven met inclusion criteria and twenty-six participants were enrolled in the study (13 in each group). The intervention was determined to be feasible and had a recruitment rate of 96%, retention rate of 100%, and adherence rate of 89%. The intervention group had significantly higher physical activity levels (mean difference= 25.38, 95%CI=(9.35, 41.42) post intervention compared to the control group. The intervention group demonstrated significant improvements in physical activity levels (mean difference= 22.23 (0.92, 43.54), p=0.04) and perception of health status (mean difference= 0.88 (0.06, 1.70), p=0.04) from baseline to post intervention. CONCLUSION This innovative intervention is feasible and demonstrates preliminary effectiveness for women with breast cancer during chemotherapy. Findings support the examination of this intervention in a larger scale randomized trial.