Effects of walking on quality of life of mastectomy patients at selected hospitals of Tehran

Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2011 Fall;16(4):299-303.


Background: Breast cancer is the first-rank malignancy in women. Although surgery is the most common method of treatment, patients experience many threats both from the cancer and from the surgery itself. Exercises such as walking can improve body mass index, attitudes and life quality of patients. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of walking on physical aspect of quality of life (QOL) in mastectomy patients in 2007.

Methods: Thirty four mastectomy patients took part in the study. Walking was performed in a flat surface 3 times a week, each lasting 30 minutes over 6 weeks. Data were collected by a questionnaire before and after the intervention and a self-report form. After identifying content and face validity of the questionnaire, its reliability was measured by Cronbach's alpha (α = 0.89) and test-retest (r = 0.91) methods.

Results: Mean scores (standard deviations) of physical, psychological, social, economic and religious aspects of QOL before the intervention were 64.55(8.10), 78.89 (5.81), 52.89 (10.74), 64.92 (8.64) and 64.76 (9.59), respectively. These aspects were 79.06 (25.62), 68.63 (16.29), 73.28 (15.32), 79.96 (12.57) and 82.54 (11.18) after the intervention, respectively. Total mean scores of QOL before the intervention was 66.16 (6.30) and increased to 75.74 (6.59) after the intervention with a significant difference in all aspects except the religious aspect. Therefore, this study showed the positive effects of walking on QOL of mastectomy patients.

Conclusions: Patients with breast cancer experience physical as well as psychological malfunctions and fatigue during the condition and its treatment. Walking can solve many of their problems and, ultimately, improve their QOL.

Keywords: Walking; mastectomy; neoplasms; quality of life.