The Effect of Exercise on Life Quality and Depression Levels of Breast Cancer Patients

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2021 Mar 1;22(3):725-732. doi: 10.31557/APJCP.2021.22.3.725.


Introduction: The aim of this study is to determine the effects of aerobic and stretching exercises on quality of life and depression levels of breast cancer patients.

Methods: A total of 48 women (mean age 45.0±2.2 years) who were previously diagnosed with breast cancer and completed their treatment with no metastasis, were included in the study. Of these, 24 women who received the exercise program were assigned as the study group, while the remaining 24 women who did not receive the exercise program were assigned as the control group. The study group received a 12-week aerobic exercise program at the fitness club and home-based resistance exercise program designed by a sport scientist at the doctoral level. The control group was encouraged to maintain their normal level of physical activity and exercise habits throughout the study. The WHOQOL-BREF, EORTC-QLQ-C30 quality of life assessments and Beck depression inventory (BDI) were used to evaluate quality of life and the severity of depression before and after 12-week exercise programs.

Results: EORTC QLQ-C30 scoring showed that in the study group aerobic exercise positively impacted quality of life on the functional scales (physical p=0.001, role p=0.039, emotional p=0.031, social functioning p=0.010) and symptoms (fatigue p=0.001, pain p=0.001, sleep disturbance p=0.038 and financial impact p=0.015). WHOQOL-BREF assessment areas, (general p=0.001, physical p=0.02, mental p=0.001 and social health p=0.017) relationships also improved as a result of exercise. BDI showed that severity of depression in the study group decreased significantly (p=0.001).

Conclusion: This study showed that aerobic and resistance exercises improved quality of life and decreased depression levels of women who previously received breast cancer treatments.<br />.

Keywords: Exercise Therapy; Quality of Life; breast cancer; depression.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Resistance Training / methods