Six-month follow-up of patient-rated outcomes in a randomized controlled trial of exercise training during breast cancer chemotherapy

Kerry S. Courneya, Roanne J. Segal, Karen Gelmon, Robert D. Reid, John R. Mackey, Christine M. Friedenreich, Caroline Proulx, Kirstin Lane, Aliya B. Ladha, Jeffrey K. Vallance, Qi Liu, Yutaka Yasui, Donald C. McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Few exercise trials in cancer patients have reported longer-term follow-up. Here, we report a 6-month follow-up of exercise behavior and patient-rated outcomes from an exercise trial in breast cancer patients. Methods: Breast cancer patients initiating adjuvant chemotherapy (n = 242) were randomly assigned to usual care (n = 82), resistance exercise training (RET; n = 82), or aerobic exercise training (AET; n = 78) for the duration of their chemotherapy. At 6-month follow-up, participants were mailed a questionnaire that assessed quality of life, self-esteem, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and exercise behavior. Results: Two hundred one (83.1%) participants provided 6-month follow-up data. Adjusted linear mixed-model analyses showed that, at 6-month follow-up, the RET group reported higher self-esteem [adjusted mean difference, 1.6; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.1-3.2; P = 0.032] and the AET group reported lower anxiety (adjusted mean difference, -4.7; 95% CI, -0.0 to -9.3; P = 0.049) compared with the usual care group. Moreover, compared with participants reporting no regular exercise during the follow-up period, those reporting regular aerobic and resistance exercise also reported better patient-rated outcomes, including quality of life (adjusted mean difference, 9.5; 95% CI, 1.2-17.8; P = 0.025). Conclusions: Improvements in self-esteem observed with RET during breast cancer chemotherapy were maintained at 6-month follow-up whereas reductions in anxiety not observed with AET during breast cancer chemotherapy emerged at 6-month follow-up. Moreover, adopting a combined aerobic and resistance exercise program after breast cancer chemotherapy was associated with further improvements in patient-rated outcomes. Exercise training during breast cancer chemotherapy may result in some longer-term and late effects for selected patient-rated outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2572-2578
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec. 2007


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