Hsieh, C.C, Sprod, L.K., Hydock, D.S., Carter, S.D., Hayward, R., & Schneider, C.M. (2008). Effects of a supervised exercise intervention on recovery from treatment regimens in breast cancer survivors. Oncology Nursing Forum 35 (6), 909-915.
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Type of Study
The article is a primary research study focusing on the impact of supervised exercise on cancer survivors after treatment. It focuses on how exercise can be used to deal with various side effects experienced by cancer survivors after treatment. The research study draws conclusions from its findings on how exercise helps breast cancer survivors to recuperate after treatment. The research study focused on breast cancer survivors in the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute (RMCRI) who had already been treated. Participants were mainly middle aged females, who were taken through screening and medical examination procedures to assess their ability to participate in the study.
Breast cancer patients are taken through various interventions which require different clinical procedures to be performed. The purpose of the study was to determine how supervised exercise training on breast cancer patients affected their heart and body functions, after they had been treated. 96 breast cancer survivors participated in the study and their average age was 58 years. The sampled participants were divided into four categories, depending on the type of treatment each survivor had been taken through. 22 of these participants had gone through surgery alone; 30 had gone through surgery and chemotherapy; 17 had been treated through surgery and radiation while the remaining 27 had been treated through a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. There were little differences in participants’ age, weight and gender. All participants were female and they had gone through surgery before the study was conducted. The researchers who conducted the study were mainly experts in the fields of cancer, sports and exercise. They formulated tests and exercise interventions used in the study.
The study showed that all participants from the four groups experienced changes in their heart and pulmonary functions. Their heart and pulmonary functions improved after several participants had done exercises on the treadmill. They also registered increases on their forced volume capacities (FVC ) after doing the exercises. In all four groups, notable changes were not witnessed before and after participants had done the exercises. However, the exercises had made most participants to experience a decrease in levels of body fatigue they had felt after treatment. The study’ s limitation is that its sample focused only on one geographical area. The study also failed to include another group of cancer survivors who did not exercise to compare the findings. The clinical implications of the study as shown by its findings, is that individual exercises help to improve heart related functions in breast cancer patients after treatment.
Cardiovascular functions in breast cancer patients do not operate well because of side effects associated with surgery and other treatments. Moderate exercises structured for each patient help to reduce these side effects. Cancer survivors also experience fatigue after chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Fatigue is the most common side effect of cancer treatment therapies which affects the well being of survivors after treatment. Nurses need to prescribe moderate exercises to help patients overcome fatigue after treatment. The study can benefit cancer patients to recover their normal body functions after they have been treated. Patients can experience normal heart conditions as well as reduced fatigue if the intervention is applied properly. A nurse should check the condition of the survivor after the exercise has been done to assess if he or she is experiencing the side effects. A nurse should assess a patient’s sleeping patterns and heart rate to find out the prescribed exercises are beneficial.