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A Preliminary Study on the Efficacy of a Community-Based Physical Activity Intervention on Physical Function-Related Risk Factors for Falls Among Breast Cancer Survivors

Lee, C. Ellen PhD, PT, MPH; Warden, Stuart J. PhD, PT; Szuck, Beth BA, HEc; Lau, Y.K. James MD, PhD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: August 2016 - Volume 95 - Issue 8 - p 561–570
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000440
Original Research Articles

Objective The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a 6-week community-based physical activity (PA) intervention on physical function-related risk factors for falls among 56 breast cancer survivors (BCS) who had completed treatments.

Design This was a single-group longitudinal study. The multimodal PA intervention included aerobic, strengthening, and balance components. Physical function outcomes based on the 4-meter walk, chair stand, one-leg stance, tandem walk, and dynamic muscular endurance tests were assessed at 6-week pre-intervention (T1), baseline (T2), and post-intervention (T3). T1 to T2 and T2 to T3 were the control and intervention periods, respectively.

Results All outcomes, except the tandem walk test, significantly improved after the intervention period (P < 0.05), with no change detected after the control period (P > 0.05). Based on the falls risk criterion in the one-leg stance test, the proportion at risk for falls was significantly lower after the intervention period (P = 0.04), but not after the control period.

Conclusions A community-based multimodal PA intervention for BCS may be efficacious in improving physical function-related risk factors for falls, and lowering the proportion of BCS at risk for falls based on specific physical function-related falls criteria. Further larger trials are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.

From the School of Medical Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (CEL); School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana (SJW); Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Breast Health Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (BS); and Department of Hematology/Oncology, CancerCare Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (YKJL).

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: C. Ellen Lee, PhD, PT, MPH, School of Nursing & School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, 1140 W. Michigan St., Coleman Hall, CF-222, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

CEL changed affiliation to Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis after the completion of the study.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation supported the study while CEL and YKJL were at the University of Manitoba. CEL is currently supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (R25CA117865).

The authors declare that no detail of the study has been presented in any form.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.