Outcomes of an Exercise Intervention for Cancer Patients

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Name: Stacey Young-McCaughan

Rank: LTC, USA

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, TX; Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX

Year Published: 2000

Abstract Status: Initial

Abstract

In the United States today, eight million people have a history of cancer. While the majority are survivors, approximately three million people are living with cancer. Medical care for persons with cancer has concentrated almost exclusively on diagnosis and treatment until recently, when rehabilitation has also been recognized as an essential component of care. For chronically ill patient populations, exercise plays a prominent role in rehabilitation. In the few studies that have investigated exercise rehabilitation in patients with cancer, dramatic improvements in physiological and psychological functioning have been documented.An ongoing study by the same research team and funded by the TriService Nursing Research Program, "N98-051, Testing an Exercise Intervention in Cancer Patients," is investigating the ability of a 12 week exercise program to positively influence over the short term selected physiological and psychological parameters of health in patients with cancer. Whether participation in this program effects any long-term change in health habits or improvement in health is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to assess, over time (18 months), the ability of an exercise intervention program to positively influence selected physiological and psychological parameters of health in patients with cancer. A prospective, repeated-measures design will be used. The independent variable in this study will be the 12 week, phase II cardiac rehabilitation program. The dependent variables will be exercise tolerance, activity and rest patterns, quality of life, and symptom experience.This study is the next step in a series of studies investigating the role of aerobic exercise in the rehabilitation of patients with specific cancers, the management of specific therapy-induced toxicities, management of symptoms, and the rehabilitation of active duty military personnel with cancer.