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Does walking protect against decline in cognitive functioning among breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy? Results from a small randomised controlled trial

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posted on 17.12.2018 by Kajal Gokal, Fehmidah Munir, Samreen Ahmed, Kiran Kancherla, Deborah J. Wallis
BACKGROUND: Cancer related cognitive impairments have been subjectively reported and objectively detected in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and are known to have a profound negative impact on productivity, psychosocial well-being and overall quality of life. Moderate levels of walking are known to be of benefit to the psychosocial well-being of those affected by breast cancer and for managing cognitive impairment in healthy adults, children, and the elderly. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of a home-based, self-managed, moderate intensity walking intervention on subjective and objective cognitive functioning in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. METHODS: A home-based, self-managed intervention that consisted of moderate levels of walking was compared to usual care among breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy in a randomised controlled trial. Outcome measures included changes in subjective (CFQ) and objectively detected cognitive functioning (Stroop, SART and two subscales from the WAIS- Digit Span and Block Design). Fifty participants were randomised to either the intervention group (n = 25), who completed 12 weeks of moderate intensity walking, or to the control group (n = 25) mid-way through chemotherapy. RESULTS: Compared with the control group, the self-managed walking intervention had positive effects on perceived cognitive function but not on sustained attention, executive function, memory or visual spatial skills when assessed objectively using neuropsychological measures. CONCLUSION: This home-based, self-managed intervention is beneficial for protecting against perceived cognitive decline in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. There is a need for further research to objectively assess cognitive decline within this population with larger sample sizes of patients. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN50709297.

Funding

The study was funded by Loughborough University as a part of a PhD project to KG. Dr Fehmidah Munir acknowledges support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, which is a partnership between University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Loughborough University and the University of Leicester.

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  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

PLoS One

Volume

13

Issue

11

Pages

e0206874 - e0206874

Citation

GOKAL, K. ... et al, 2018. Does walking protect against decline in cognitive functioning among breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy? Results from a small randomised controlled trial. PLoS One, 13 (11), e0206874.

Publisher

Public Library of Science © The Authors

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Acceptance date

21/10/2018

Publication date

2018

Notes

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

eISSN

1932-6203

Language

en

Location

United States

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