Objective: To review the evidence of the effects of exercise interventions in patients with cancer in each of four quality-of-life domains: physical, psychological, social, and spiritual.
Data sources: Research articles, abstracts, literature review.
Conclusion: There is strong evidence to support positive effects of exercise on physical and psychological well-being. Exercise improves physical function, muscle strength, emotional well-being, self esteem, decreases fatigue, anxiety, and depression, and helps maintain weight. Data suggest exercise fosters social functioning and more research is needed on the relationship of exercise and spiritual well-being.
Implications for nursing practice: There is sufficient evidence to support exercise as an intervention to enhance a cancer patient's physical functioning and psychological well-being. Nurses should be encouraged to integrate physical activity recommendations into practice, tailored to the individual's health condition and mutual goal setting.