Differences in physical performance between men and women with and without lymphoma

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 Dec;84(12):1747-52. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(03)00437-4.


Objectives: To describe and compare physical performance profiles in men and women with lymphoma with age- and gender-matched controls and to examine relationships among fatigue severity and physical performance in men and women with lymphoma.

Design: Case-control study.

Setting: Outpatient lymphoma service in a major cancer teaching hospital.

Participants: Fifty-one patients with lymphoma (26 women, 25 men), age- and gender-matched to 51 subjects without lymphoma.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: A physical performance test battery consisting of a 50-ft (15-m) walk, a 6-minute walk, forward reach, repeated sit-to-stand, repeated reach-up, timed belt tie, sock test, and coin test. Patients also completed the Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI).

Results: Multivariate analysis of variance was significant for main effects of group (F(8,89)=27.12, P<.05) and gender (F(8,89)=3.09, P<.05), and there was no significant interaction. Subsequent analyses found significant differences between groups and gender in the repeated reach-up task, forward reach, 50-ft walk, and distance walked in 6 minutes. Correlations among physical performance tasks and total BFI interference scores were moderate (r range,.27-.43; P<.05) for tasks involving upper extremity, and stronger (r range,.51 to -.73; P<.05) for tasks that involved whole-body movements.

Conclusion: There is a leveling effect of lymphoma across gender on most tasks. The significant relations between physical performance tasks and fatigue are suggestive of the pervasive influence of fatigue on physical function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Exercise Test / methods
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology*
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Task Performance and Analysis