Testing an Exercise Intervention for Cancer Patients


Name: Stacey Young-McCaughan

Rank: LTC, USA

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX

Year Published: 1998

Abstract Status: Final


In 1997, almost 9 million people living in the United States had a history of cancer. Medical care for people living with cancer has concentrated almost exclusively on diagnosis and treatment, but, increasingly, rehabilitation and health promotion are being recognized as essential components of care. Participation in aerobic exercise programs can lead to dramatic improvements in cancer patients' physiological and psychological functioning. The purpose of this prospective, repeated-measures study was to study the use of a cardiac rehabilitation program patterned to influence selected parameters of health in 62 patients diagnosed with cancer within the previous two years and receiving care at one of two major military medical centers. Subjects met 2 days each week for 12 weeks for exercise and education. Forty-six subjects (74%) were able to complete the 12-week exercise protocol. The dependent study variables were change over time in exercise tolerance as measured with a maximal graded exercise test, activity and rest patterns as measured with a wrist ActiGraph, quality of life as measured with the Cancer Rehabilitation Evaluation System-Short Form (CARES-SF), and health status as measured with the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). Descriptive statistics were used to summarize sample characteristics. Mixed and repeated measures, rank tests, t tests, and analyses of covariance were used as appropriate for the comparison. Chi-square tests were used with categorical data to evaluate differences between subgroups of the sample. Significant improvements were observed over time in exercise tolerance, activity and sleep patterns, and quality of life (p < .05) among the subjects who completed the program. These findings indicate that patients with various types and stages of cancer can safely exercise using a cardiac rehabilitation model and improve certain physiological and psychological parameters and their quality of life.


Final Report is available on NTRL at: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2007107...