The effect of combined aerobic and resistance exercises on quality of life of women surviving breast cancer

Fariba Taleghani, Jahangir Karimain, Shadi Babazadeh, Fariborz Mokarian, Maryam Tabatabaiyan, Mozhgan Alam Samimi, Mohammad Reza Khajeh Aminian


  • BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers amongst women in developed and developing countries. It is associated with the highest mortality rate in low to average-income countries. Breast cancer investigation amongst Iranian women reveals that the number of its incidence is yet the highest in all cancer types. Despite recent longer survival time of women with breast cancer, most of the patients suffer from long term physical and mental distress due to combined treatments. Exercise interventions are among new approaches to promote the better quality of life of the patients, which has only recently been considered by researchers. This study aimed to investigate the effect of exercise intervention on the quality of life of breast cancer survivors.
  • METHODS: This is a clinical trial conducted on 80 women with I-III breast cancer, at 18-55 years of age mostly two years after the completion of their treatment in Seyed al Shohada hospital in Isfahan. They were randomly divided into two groups of study and control. Exercise intervention went on for 8 weeks in the study group (three sessions a week, 60 minutes). Quality of life in both groups was measured a day before, and at the end of the eight weeks period by the instrument of the National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute. The data were analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistical tests of X2, t-test and Mac Hammer test.
  • RESULTS: Results showed that there was no significant difference in the mean score of the physical dimension of quality of life in the study group before and after intervention while the score of physical health was significantly better in the control group (p < 0.00).The mean score of mental dimension had increased in the study group, while it had decreased in the control group. The mean score of social health showed no significant difference before and after intervention. The mean score of spiritual health had significantly decreased in the control group, while it had significantly increased in the study group (p = 0.004). Generally, the total mean score of the quality of life showed no significant difference before and after intervention. However, the percentage of the quality of life score increased in the study group, but decreased in the control group.
  • CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study showed that exercise interventions can promote a better quality of life for the patients, and increase the total score of quality of life. Although, the total score of quality of life was not significantly different, it was concluded that exercise can promote the quality of life amongst patients with breast cancer.
  • KEY WORDS: Quality of life, breast cancer, exercise.

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