Background: Breast cancer treatment has adverse effects. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a multidisciplinary oncologic rehabilitation program on health related quality of life (HRQoL), cancer related fatigue (CRF), muscle strength, physical fitness and anthropometrics in breast cancer survivors. Methods: This quasi-experimental study included 30 early breast cancer patients in the first year following treatment. Patients completed a 12-week exercise program for 4 hours a week combined with lifestyle guidance for 2 hours a week. The supervised training sessions consisted of aerobic exercises combined with muscular strengthening exercises. Measurements were carried out at baseline (T0), at the end of the intervention (T1) and at 12-weeks follow-up (T2). HRQoL (EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire) and CRF (FACIT-Fatigue questionnaire), were measured at T0, T1 and T2. Muscle strength (handgrip dynamometer) was measured at T0 and T1. Physical fitness and anthropometrics were assessed at T0 and T1 using spiro ergometrics, bioimpedance and waist- and hip circumference. Results: Significant positive changes in HRQoL were found, especially for physical functioning (p = 0.004) and dyspnea (p = 0,003) at T1, but HRQoL decreased at T2. Weight, BMI, waist - and hip circumference and fat free mass decreased significantly (respectively p = 0,030; p = 0,047; p = 0,020; p = 0,041 and p = 0,003). Body impedance increased significantly over time (p = 0,034). There was a significant improvement in CRF at T1 (p = 0.03), that was no longer significant at T2. No significant improvements were found in muscle strength at the affected side (p = 0.16) and the non-affected side (p = 0.95). Physical fitness increased significantly for VO2max at the maximal progressive cycle test (p = 0.005). Conclusions: This study reports significant improvements in HRQoL, anthropometric characteristics, CRF and physical fitness after a 12-week rehabilitation program. The declines between T1 and T2 may be explained by discontinuation of physical activity. Further research should use randomized clinical trials to examine the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs with different contents, duration and initiation.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's1
TijdschriftJournal of Clinical Oncology
Nummer van het tijdschrift3s
StatusPublished - 20 jan 2016


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