Context: Exercise benefits patients with cancer, but studies of home-based approaches, particularly among those with Stage IV disease, remain small and exploratory.
Objectives: To conduct an adequately powered trial of a home-based exercise intervention that can be facilely integrated into established delivery and reimbursement structures.
Methods: Sixty-six adults with Stage IV lung or colorectal cancer were randomized, in an eight-week trial, to usual care or incremental walking and home-based strength training. The exercising participants were instructed during a single physiotherapy visit and subsequently exercised four days or more per week; training and step-count goals were advanced during bimonthly telephone calls. The primary outcome measure was mobility assessed with the Ambulatory Post Acute Care Basic Mobility Short Form. Secondary outcomes included ratings of pain and sleep quality as well as the ability to perform daily activities (Ambulatory Post Acute Care Daily Activities Short Form), quality of life (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General), and fatigue (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue).
Results: Three participants dropped out and seven died (five in the intervention and two in the control group, P=0.28). At Week 8, the intervention group reported improved mobility (P=0.01), fatigue (P=0.02), and sleep quality (P=0.05) compared with the usual care group, but did not differ on the other measures.
Conclusion: A home-based exercise program seems capable of improving the mobility, fatigue, and sleep quality of patients with Stage IV lung and colorectal cancer.
Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.