Purpose/objectives: To examine the effects of a seated exercise program on fatigue and quality of life (QOL) in women with metastatic breast cancer.
Design: Randomized, controlled, longitudinal trial.
Setting: Outpatient clinic of a comprehensive cancer center.
Sample: Convenience sample of 38 women who were beginning outpatient chemotherapy.
Methods: Subjects were randomized to a control or intervention group; the intervention was performance of a seated exercise program using home videotape three times per week for four cycles of chemotherapy. All subjects completed the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy Fatigue Version IV (FACIT F) at baseline and at the time of the next three cycles. Subjects were asked to document the frequency, duration, and intensity of all exercise participation on monthly calendars.
Main research variables: Exercise, fatigue, and QOL.
Findings: 32 subjects, 16 per group, completed the study follow-up. With a mixed modeling approach, total FACIT F scores for the entire sample declined at a significant rate (p = 0.003) beginning with cycle 3 but at a slower rate for the experimental group (p = 0.02). Fatigue scores indicated less increase and physical well-being subscale scores showed less decline for the experimental group (p = 0.008 and p = 0.02, respectively).
Conclusions: Women with advanced breast cancer randomized to the seated exercise intervention had a slower decline in total and physical well-being and less increase in fatigue scores starting with the third cycle of chemotherapy.
Implications for nursing: Seated exercise may be a feasible exercise program for women with advanced cancer for controlling fatigue and improving physical well-being.