Ashley Oostveen1, Meghan G. Ramick1, Selen Razon1, Umit Tokac2, Melissa A. Reed1. The Effects of a Pre-Infusion And Home Exercise Program on Quality Of Life and Fatigue During Chemotherapy Treatment: a Case Study. 1West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA, USA. 2University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO, USA.
Introduction: The present study investigated the effects of a pre-infusion and home exercise program on QoL and cancer-related fatigue. Given the paucity of research examining effects of exercise during chemotherapy, research exploring exercise concomitant to infusion treatments is justified. Methods: The intervention took place over a period of eight weeks, with a functional assessment and a cancer-specific QoL questionnaire being administered at the start and end of the study. In addition, a general health-related QoL questionnaire was administered at the time of each supervised exercise session which occurred 72 hours prior to each infusion treatment. Lastly, exercise prescriptions were provided and adherence was tracked with the use of an accelerometer as well as follow up surveys between supervised exercise sessions. Results: Results revealed a substantial improvement in physical well-being from 4.85 to 0.57 following the exercise intervention. Consistent with these results, pain interference and pain intensity largely improved from the start of the study. Additionally, fatigue interfering with ADLs decreased from moderate to not at all at 9 days post-infusion and moderate to slightly at 5 days post-infusion by the end of the study. Psychological well-being measures went up from 5.44 to 6.89 after the treatment indicating that the patient’s psychological well-being improved after the exercise intervention. The mean scores for distress and fear of recurrence also improved from 6.2 to 6 and 7.25 to 6, respectively, from pre to post infusion. There was a slight increase in social concerns from 6 to 6.63 indicating the participant had more concerns at the end than at the beginning of the study. Lastly, spiritual well-being improved modestly from 4.57 to 5.14 at the end of the intervention. Conclusion: It was found that this intervention had a positive impact on overall QoL, specifically with respect to physical well-being, fatigue, and pain interference and perception. Moreover, the infusion-based timing of this exercise intervention may have contributed to further gains in psychological well-being including a reduction in distress and fear of recurrence.