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.