Practice and Outcome of Exercise Intervention on Breast Cancer-Specific Quality of Life of Breast Cancer Survivors in Nigeria

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Linda C Odikpo
Edith N Chiejina


Practice, Outcome, Excersice intervention, Quality of life, Breast cancer


Background: Lifestyle modification like exercise is an essential rehabilitation measure that improves the quality of life (QoL) of women with breast cancer and helps in preventing cancer related complications. This study assessed the practice and outcome of exercise interventions on breast cancer-specific quality of life of survivors in Delta State, Nigeria.
Methods: Experimental design was applied with intervention (47) and control (47) groups. This design involved a pre-test, an intervention, and a post-test. Exercise intervention (aerobic, resistance and flexibility exercises, including warm-up with Swiss ball and dance, climbing of stairs, treadmill, stationary exercise bicycle, shoulder, and arm exercises) was administered to the intervention group for twelve weeks. The assessment of breast cancer survivors' specific quality of life in the two groups was done with the English version of The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Breast Cancer-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ- EORTC-BR23) before and after the exercise intervention.
Results: The overall pre and post-intervention breast cancer-specific functional quality of life was 65.4±22.7 (intervention group); 71.3±23.4 (control group) and 75.05 ±10.4 (intervention group); 58.65±12.9 (control group) while the pre and post breast cancer-specific symptoms QoL was 22.2±6.2 (intervention group); 24.1±9.6 (control group) and 11.8±13.0 (intervention group); 30.9±21.2 (control group), respectively. All the women in the intervention group practiced exercise only at mild/moderate intensity and no notable side effects were observed during the practice by many of them (n=39). Significant differences existed in the overall post-intervention breast cancer-specific functional and symptoms QoL between the two groups (p<0.001) and no significant differences were observed among most of the specific QoL scales in relation to age, duration of diagnosis, and stage of the cancer diagnosis.
Conclusion: Exercise remains beneficial to women with breast cancer and has proven to be one of the necessary means to improve their overall well-being. Therefore, healthcare providers that manage these patients in different hospitals should always counsel and support them to initiate the recommended exercises for cancer survivors to enhance their survival.


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