Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Effect of Exercise on the Quality of Life in Cancer Patients: A Meta-Analysis of Different Intervention

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Effect of Exercise on the Quality of Life in Cancer Patients: A Meta-Analysis of Different Intervention

Article excerpt


Currently, cancer is considered the second largest cause of death in the world, and its treatment directly influences the individual's lifestyle. (Machado & Sawada, 2008), the diagnosis of neoplasia causes a strong impact on the life of their patients (Carvalho, 2002).

Several aspects such as early diagnosis and the means of rehabilitation, physical, social, and psychological, are important in encouraging the fight against this disease. The inclusion of physical exercise in the daily lifestyle of an individual is known to promote many health benefits, the same is true for people with cancer. According to Oreinstein and Friedenreich (2002), physical exercise also has a beneficial effect on the diagnosis and the later stages of treatment (Friedenreich & Orenstein, 2002). Physical exercise improves wellbeing and can aid in the side effects of the treatment, its physiological and psychological effects, these changes can affect directly the life of the patient, (Macedo et al., 2003).

One of the symptoms present in the different stages of cancer is fatigue, which is characterized by excessive discomfort and physical exhaustion, (Gutstein, 2001). Fatigue is understood as a state of fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, or demotivation, which may be chronic or acute (Da Silva & Gonçalves, 2008). According to Mota and Pimenta (2002), fatigue affects more than 75% of patients, especially after the first cycle of chemotherapy, during periods of palliative care, or in more advanced stages (de Faria Mota & de Mattos Pimenta, 2002). Physical activity has been shown to be an important tool in the control of fatigue with a direct effect on the patient's well-being and quality of life (Battaglini et al., 2006). The exercises contribute to both the maintenance of muscle strength and to a minimal reduction of muscle strength, especially in hospitalized individuals (The Whoqol Group, 1998).

Quality of Life (QL) is a difficult term to define because it includes a potential variety of conditions that affect: the individual's perception, feelings, and behaviors related to their daily functioning, including their health condition, and medical interventions. The World Health Organization defines Quality of Life as "the individual's perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value system in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards, and concerns"(Group, 1993; Makluf, 2005). QOL is an important tool for assessing treatment outcomes from the perspective of the patient. The systematic review analyzes the impact of physical exercise on cancer patients in relation to their quality of life. We know that both the disease and its treatment produce morbidities that gradually compromise the patients' lives (Velloso, Barra, & Dias, 2011), therefore, the evaluation is necessary because it is an important indicator of the influence of the side effects of the treatment on the individual. Assessing the quality of life of the cancer patient is an important resource for evaluating treatment outcomes from the perspective of the patient.


We performed a systematic review of the literature of published studies to evaluate the association between physical exercise and quality of life of cancer patients measured by the EORTCQLQ-C30 questionnaire. The meta-analysis required two moments, one qualitative and the other quantitative.

In the qualitative phase, a bibliographic search of articles indexed in the databases Pubmed/Medline, ISI Web of Knowledge, Scopus, The Cochrane Library, and Lilacs from their inception up to June 2018. The articles were located from the search descriptors, selected the words "physical exercise", "pilates", "endurance", "conditioning training", "strength training", "workout", "resistance training" and "cancer" or "neoplasm" and "quality of life" or "EORCT QLQ C30". The inclusion criteria of the studies were: human studies, complete articles in English, with a 10-year cohort, randomized clinical trial, with quantitative data that could be statistically analyzed. …

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