Pilates and dance to patients with breast cancer undergoing treatment: study protocol for a randomized clinical trial - MoveMama study

Trials. 2020 Jan 7;21(1):35. doi: 10.1186/s13063-019-3874-6.


Background: Breast cancer is a global public health issue. The side effects of the clinical treatment can decrease the quality of life of these women. Therefore, a healthy lifestyle is essential to minimize the physical and psychological side effects of treatment. Physical activity has several benefits for women with breast cancer, and Pilates solo and belly dancing can be an enjoyable type of physical activity for women with breast cancer undergoing clinical treatment. The purpose of this study is to provide a Pilates solo and a belly dance protocol (three times per week/16 weeks) for women undergoing breast cancer treatment and compare its effectiveness with that in the control group.

Methods: The participants will be allocated to either the intervention arm (Pilates solo or belly dance classes three times per week for 16 weeks) or a control group (receipt of a booklet on physical activity for patients with breast cancer and maintenance of habitual physical activity routine). The Pilates solo and belly dance classes will be divided into three stages: warmup and stretching, the main stage, and relaxation. Measurements of the study outcomes will take place at baseline; postintervention; and 6, 12, and 24 months after the end of the intervention (maintenance period). The data collection for both groups will occur with a paper questionnaire and tests covering general and clinical information. The primary outcome will be quality of life (EORT QLQ-C30 and EORT QLQ-BR23), and secondary outcomes will be physical aspects such as cardiorespiratory fitness (6-min walk test and cycle ergometer), lymphedema (sum of arm circumference), physical activity (IPAQ short version), disabilities of the arm (DASH), range of motion (goniometer test), muscular strength (dynamometer test) and flexibility (sit and reach test), and psychological aspects such as depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory), body image (Body Image After Breast Cancer Questionnaire), self-esteem (Rosenberg), fatigue (FACT-F), pain (VAS), sexual function (FSFI), and sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index).

Discussion: In view of the high prevalence of breast cancer among women, the implementation of a specific protocol of Pilates solo and belly dancing for patients with breast cancer is important, considering the necessity to improve their physical and psychological quality of life. Pilates solo and belly dancing are two types of physical activity that involve mental and physical concentration, music, upper limb movements, femininity, and social involvement. An intervention with these two physical activities could offer options of supportive care to women with breast cancer undergoing treatment, with the aim being to improve physical and psychological quality of life.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03194997. Registration date 12 August 2017. Universal Trial Number (World Health Organization), U1111-1195-1623.

Keywords: Breast neoplasm; Dance; Physical activity; Quality of life.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Body Image
  • Breast Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • Dancing*
  • Exercise Movement Techniques*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Self Concept

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03194997