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Objective: To compare the effects of resistance and cardiovascular exercise on functional mobility in individuals with advanced cancer.
Design: Prospective, 2-group pretest-posttest pilot study with randomization to either resistance or cardiovascular exercise mode.
Setting: Comprehensive community cancer center and a hospital-based fitness facility.
Demographics: Volunteer sample of individuals with advanced cancer recruited through the cancer center, palliative care service, rehabilitation department, and a local hospice.
Outcome Measures: Functional mobility was assessed using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB); self-reported pain and fatigue were assessed secondarily using visual analog scales. Data were analyzed using a split plot 2x2 analysis of variance (=.05).
Interventions: Ten weeks of individualized resistance or cardiovascular exercise, prescribed and monitored by oncology-trained physical therapists and exercise personnel.
Results: Fifty-two patients (78.8%) completed the study: 23 (67.7%) of 34 patients in the resistance arm and 29 (90.6%) of 32 patients in the cardiovascular arm. No participant withdrew because of study adverse events. Ten-week outcomes (n=52) included a significant increase in SPPB total score (P<.001), increase in gait speed (P=.001), and reduction in fatigue (P=.05). Although cardiovascular exercise participants had a modestly greater improvement in SPPB total score than resistance training participants (F1,49=4.21, P=.045), the difference was not confirmed in a subsequent intention-to-treat analysis (N=66).
Conclusions: Individuals with advanced cancer appear to benefit from exercise for improving functional mobility. Neither resistance nor cardiovascular exercise appeared to have a strong differential effect on outcome.



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Physical Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy

Related Materials

Poster resulting from research conducted by the authors, published in 2013:

Litterini AJ, Fieler VF, Cavanaugh JT, Lee J. Differential Effects of Cardiovascular and Resistance Exercise on Functional Mobility in Individuals with Advanced Cancer: A Randomized Trial. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013;94:2329-35.


Poster presented by authors Litterini and Fieler at the 2015 New England Cancer Survivorship Research Symposium, held at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA on 4/2/15.

Differential Effects Of Cardiovascular And Resistance Exercise On Functional Mobility In Individuals With Advanced Cancer: A Randomized Trial



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