The effect of a multidimensional exercise programme on symptoms and side-effects in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: the use of semi-structured diaries

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Christina Andersen
  • Lis Adamsen
  • Tom Møller
  • Midtgaard, Julie
  • Morten Quist
  • Anders Tveteraas
  • Mikael Rahbek Rørth
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a 6-week intervention with structured physical activity, relaxation, body-awareness techniques and massage on the symptoms/side-effects of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The study was prospective and exploratory, and 54 patients completed assessments for all 6 weeks of the intervention. In order to obtain a continuous record of side-effects, a diary was developed for the patients' use throughout the intervention. The patients scored their symptoms/side-effects on a scale from 0 to 4, using the Common Toxicity Criteria and reported these scores in questionnaires. Twelve possible symptoms/side-effects were registered daily: lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, paraesthesia, constipation, physical fatigue, mental fatigue, treatment-related fatigue, muscle pain, arthralgia and other pain. During the intervention a decrease in the scoring for 10 out of the 12 side-effects was found. Statistical significance was observed in the pain score (P=0.046) and the arbitrary-derived sum of the scores for symptoms and side-effects (P=0.036) respectively. Patients with evidence of disease (n=26) had significantly higher levels of symptoms/side-effects than patients with no evidence of disease (n=28) (P=0.027). The results indicate that a six weeks multidimensional exercise intervention undertaken by cancer patients with or without residual disease while undergoing chemotherapy can lead to a reduction in treatment-related symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)247-262
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ID: 1094410